King Philippe remembers King Baudouin in speech to mark ten years as King

philippeBy World Trade Organization, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Philippe, the King of the Belgians, has made a speech to mark the tenth anniversary of his accession. He paid tribute to his wife, his parents and his uncle, King Baudouin.

During his speech, made in Dutch, German and French, he said, “Exactly 10 years ago I took the oath as seventh King of the Belgians. I thus succeeded my father, King Albert II, to whom I would like to pay homage today.

“You gave the Queen and me a very warm welcome. July 21st of 2013 is therefore forever etched in our memory. It remains an inexhaustible source of motivation and inspiration for both of us today.

“The Queen has always been by my side, under all circumstances. Again and again I am filled with admiration for her continuous effort and the attention she gives to all the people she meets.

“Ladies and gentlemen, We have been through a lot together over the past ten years, known both joy and sorrow. We will also remember this decade as a succession of crises, some of them unprecedented: the March 22 attacks, the pandemic, the extreme drought and floods, the war in Ukraine or the energy crisis. We have weathered these crises together, to the best of our ability – and with tangible results.

“Over the years, I have noticed again and again that there is a great sense of solidarity in our country – and a series of human qualities that goes with it: generosity, caring for those in need, openness to opinions that differ from ours, compromise. We are spontaneous and pragmatic. And we have a sense of humor.

“The deeply human character of the Belgians can be felt in both the North and the South of our country. We have experienced this ourselves during our many encounters and visits.

“It goes without saying that we each express this in our own way, with our language, culture and our beliefs. But the essence is the same. It is the foundation of our identity, the foundation on which our rich community life is built, with so many creative associations and a dynamic volunteerism.

“Thanks to our culture of solidarity and consultation, we have been able to develop a social security that we can be proud of.
We have also been successful in bringing together communities of diverse backgrounds within our federal state.

“I am convinced that together we can be more creative and innovative than anywhere else in the world if we focus more on our diversity, build more bridges between our institutions and learn from each other’s strengths. That is the asset with which we can face the challenges we face: climate change, the preservation of biodiversity, the energy transition, the appropriate use of artificial intelligence, social justice, the proper reception of migrants, the aging population or the loss of confidence in our institutions and democracy.
It is a long list, which shows that we are facing systemic changes.

“Let us therefore cherish our model of society and the human qualities that characterize it. And they develop much more in Europe and the world. In any case, we should not assume that they are self-evident. To face the future with confidence, we must maintain and strengthen all those achievements.

“Ladies and gentlemen,
This summer we also commemorate the death, 30 years ago, of King Baudouin. Those who knew him will forever remember his smile, the look in his eyes, his confidence-inspiring handshake.
I know how much good he has done wherever he has gone, through his faith in man, through his deep concern for everyone and for the country. He was and remains an example for many, at home and abroad.

“In seven years, Belgium will celebrate its bicentenary – an important milestone in our history. A new generation is coming.

“You, the generation 2030, are already here – with your sensitivity and insight, critical mind and talent. Let’s prepare for the future together now. With everything that makes Belgium strong!”

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