The Belgian royal couple were welcomed on a state visit to Congo today with a banner for the late King Baudouin and his wife Fabiola.
06/22/11, 08:59 PM
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde are currently in Africa. Today, a visit to Katanga was planned, and the royal couple were warmly welcomed there. It turned out that a mistake had been made when making the banners.
“Welcome to Katanga to the royal couple,” read one of the banners along the road. Only the current princes Filip and Mathilde were not welcomed, but King Baudouin and his wife Fabiola – both deceased. Boudewijn died in 1993 – after which he was succeeded by his brother Albert, the father of the current king – Fabiola died in 2014. It is not true that the inhabitants reused old banners, according to a reporter Belgian in Congo it is indeed a mistake.
It’s unclear how the royal couple reacted to the banner.
Filip and his wife Mathilde were welcomed by locals with singing and dancing. “You are the first Belgian king to visit Katanga,” village chief Maman Monique told the couple, according to the Belga news agency. She spoke, among other things, of the problems facing the region. Mining has disrupted the ecosystem, and soil depletion and global warming mean agriculture produces less, she said.
Filip and his wife Mathilde have been in Congo since Tuesday for a six-day state visit. The royal family will visit the cities of Kinshasa, Lubumbashi and Bukavu, among others.
Last week, the Belgian king offered no apologies for the brutal Belgian colonial regime. However, he again expressed his “deepest regrets” and acknowledged that the Belgian administration was based on “exploitation and domination” and on “discrimination and racism”.
The first visit of Filip and his wife Mathilde to the former colony was eagerly awaited. The king previously expressed regret in a letter to the Congolese president over misdeeds committed by Belgians in the central African country during the colonial period. Perhaps, as Belgium increasingly faces its final 62 years after Congolese independence, he could add an apology, some thought. But Filip did not go that far in a speech delivered in the capital Kinshasa on Wednesday.
The king not only looked back, he also wanted to look forward. He promised investments and even careful military cooperation. Congo, which is fighting an almost hopeless battle with the rebels in the east of the country, can really benefit from this.
Watch our most viewed news videos in the playlist below:
Free and unlimited access to Showbytes? That can!
Log in or create an account and never miss a thing from the stars.
“Infuriatingly humble social media ninja. Devoted travel junkie. Student. Avid internet lover.”