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  #1  
Old 08-21-2003, 08:14 AM
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After Philippe and Mathilde got engaged, they started a tour of 'Joyeuses Entrées', this means they brought a visit to each of the 10 povinces of Belgium.

This is a very old tradition, which goes back to the 14th century, when the actual Belgium was part of a bigger realm, under the power of the dukes of Burgundy.
In 1356, the reigning monarch came to Brabant to swear the oath on the charter of the 'Joyeuse Entrée' (or 'Blijde Intrede'), which recognised the rights and privileges of his subjects.

This text became one of the sources of the Belgian constitution in 1831.

Untill 1792 all reigning princes(Spaniards, and later Austrians, who dominated the territory which is now Belgium) sweared the oath on this text.

All kings of the belgians, are being welcomed in an official way in the capitals of the Belgian provinces and the most important cities, since 1831.

The tradition of a crownprincely couple also making these visits has been introduced in 1900, by prince Albert and princess Elisabeth.

In 1999 it was Philippe and Mathilde's turn to go towards their population, and to be welcomed with open arms by them.
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Old 08-21-2003, 08:22 AM
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On the 21st of October 1999, they made their first visit. It was to the province Luxemburg, where Mathilde was born and bred.

They visited the abbey of Orval, where they tasted a glas of Orval beer, like all good Belgians.
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Old 08-21-2003, 08:55 AM
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The second visit, on the 25th of October was to Western-Flanders.

First they went to the province's capital, Bruges, where a crowd of 7000 people had showed up!
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Old 08-21-2003, 09:00 AM
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Still in Western-Flanders, at the town hall of Poperinge. Mathilde's uncle, Henri d'Udekem d'Acoz (completely on the left of this picture) is the mayor of Poperinge.

http://www.christinesroyalty.net/spe...vlaanderen.jpg
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Old 08-21-2003, 09:20 AM
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Wonderful topic, Cathérine Bergeyck. Thanks for sharing the history and the many wonderful pictures. Great to see how much Phillippe and Mathilde have grown in their roles. If only they could've known how happy and how blessed they would be with their 2 beautiful and healthy children back then!
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Old 08-21-2003, 12:07 PM
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Thanks Alexandria, I'm very glad you like it!!

The third visit was to the province of Brabant Wallon, on the 28th of October 1999.

This is the French-speaking part of Brabant.

Philippe and Mathilde carry the title of 'duke and duchess of Brabant'.
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Old 08-21-2003, 12:47 PM
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The couple put on their rubber boots, to go to the nature reserve of Kampenhout.

http://www.christinesroyalty.net/spe...ms_brabant.jpg
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Old 08-22-2003, 05:44 AM
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One month after this visit, the couple got married in Brussels. Then they went on honeymoon and when they were back in Belgium, they continued their Joyeuses Entrées.

On the 18th of January 2000, they visited the province of Liège.

They went to the capital (also called Liège), to Verviers, Fraiture and Sankt-Vith.

The newly-weds at the town hall of Liège

http://www.christinesroyalty.net/spe...trede_luik.jpg
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Old 08-22-2003, 04:47 PM
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Their sixth Joyeuse Entrée (24th January 2000) brought them to the province Antwerp, where they visited the cities Antwerp (the capital), Lier and Herentals.

Antwerp is a rich and beautiful city which unfortunately has one ugly side:the fascistical extreme-right movement, the Vlaams Blok. This movement is turned against the monarchy, and has, among other awful ideas, the ideal of an independent Flanders.

Before Philippe and Mathilde arrived, there was some commotion: a few members of the Vlaams Blok were protesting loudly, they were immediately captured by the police and taken away.
Things soon calmed down, and when the future king and queen of the Belgians arrived, thousends of enthousiastic Antwerpians braved the biting cold to catch a glimp of them.
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Old 08-22-2003, 05:02 PM
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Traditionnaly, the couple receives a gift from every province they visit.

In one of the Flemish provinces the received a few gorgeous pieces of lace,made especially for them.

Since Antwerpen is one of the world's most important centres of diamond trade, Mathilde received a (modern) necklace, made especially for her. It was made out of white gold, with one big diamond in it.
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Old 08-23-2003, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cathérine Bergeyck@Aug 22nd, 2003 - 10:56 pm
I believe Philippe is starting to get a little nervous here.
I think so, too


what does "Joyeuses Entrées" mean?
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Old 08-23-2003, 09:53 AM
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It means something like 'Joyfull Entry'.

I'm not really sure on how to translate it, the term has been used (also in Flemish), since the middle ages.

Cathérine.
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Old 08-23-2003, 03:43 PM
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The 9th Joyeuse Entrée was reserved for Namur, on the 8th of March 2000.

The rain was pouring nearly all day long, but still 4000 people showed up in the streets.

At the end of the day the couple made a boat trip on the river the Meuse near Dinant.

http://www.christinesroyalty.net/spe...rede_namen.jpg
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Old 02-07-2005, 11:35 AM
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how long of a period was these travels made?
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Old 03-04-2006, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathérine Bergeyck
On the 21st of October 1999, they made their first visit. It was to the province Luxemburg, where Mathilde was born and bred
For this first joyeuse entrée Philippe & Mathilde arrived by helicopter in Bastogne, the city where Mathilde went to school as a child. 4000 people were waiting for them and the couple spent about 45 minutes greeting the people in the streets.

After that they went to Arlon where they had lunch with young people from the region, who were between 18 and 33 years old.

After Arlon they went to Virton where they visited the technological Institut Supérieur.

They ended their visit at the abbey of Orval, where they threw a coin in the fountain of the Mathilde source. This is part of a legend that tells the story of the widowed countess Mathilde of Tuscany who dropped her wedding ring in the water and coudn't find it back. She prayed to god for help and a trout brought back her ring to the surface, to which Mathilde cried "this is really "un val d'or" (= a golden valley, hence the name Orval). She founded a monastary out of gratitude. It is said that throwing a coin in the water brings luck.

Afterwards they had a glass of Orval beer.

(APL, ANP, le soir illustr&#233





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Old 03-04-2006, 05:24 PM
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Mathilde was dressed by Belgian designer Olivier Strelli







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Old 03-04-2006, 05:25 PM
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Thank you, Catherine. An interesting legend to read about. Even from those early days you can see through her body language that she has an innate naturalness with people. She's such a lovely woman.
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Old 03-04-2006, 05:27 PM
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Love the last picture in post #17 -- the contrast of PM and the monk!
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Old 03-04-2006, 05:27 PM
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