Belgian State Visit to Greece

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium are on a 3-Day State Visit to the Republic of Greece at the request of the Belgian Government to celebrate and build diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties from May 2nd to the 4th.

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King Philippe and Queen Mathilde were welcomed at Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos on the afternoon of May 2nd, going to the Hotel Grande Bretagne before travelling to Syntagma Square for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

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Later, the King and Queen were officially welcomed by President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Pavlos Kotsonis at the Presidential Mansion, where there was an introduction of the delegations and an exchange of honours, with the King and Queen receiving the Greek Order of the Redeemer, while the President has given the Belgian Order of Leopold. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde had a small private audience with the President before walking from the Presidential Mansion to the Maximos Mansion, where they were received by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, with whom the King had extended meetings, while the Queen visited the Smile of the Child Community Home.

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In the evening, President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Pavlos Kotsonis hosted a State Dinner in honour of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde (wearing Queen Fabiola’s Waterfall Brooch in her hair with her Diamond Fringe Earrings) at the Presidential Mansion in Athens. Both the King and President gave speeches. The Presidential Mansion is the former Royal Palace in Athens, where the King’s uncle and aunt, King Baudoin and Queen Fabiola, attended the Wedding Ball of King Constantine II of Greece and Princess Anne Marie of Denmark in 1964.

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The secondary of the State Visit began with a visit to the Adama Center where the King and Queen talked to refugees and the director of Caritas Greece, before they visited the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion with the Greek Minister for Culture. Later, there was an immersive Technologies Showcase, a meet and greet “Connecting past and future. The impact of New Technologies on Archaeology and Heritage Conservation”, followed by an academic lunch, and then a visit to the archaeological site of Thorikos, guided by Roald Docter of UGent.

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In the evening, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde toured the Acropolis Museum in Athens, where after a Tour, they hosted a Return Concert in honour of  President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Pavlos Kotsonis.

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