"Tiny" pictures are here
Today is national day in Belgium. A kind of independence day too. Wikipedia says :
The 1830 Belgian Revolution led to the establishment of an independent, Catholic and neutral Belgium under a provisional government and a national congress. Since the installation of Leopold I as king in 1831, Belgium has been a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy.
So people are hanging flags at their windows, not very much apparently flags are not so liked. A big parade takes place in front of our king, together with the queen (not THE QUEEN) and the whole family. Of course the government is also represented. The city park is prepared to receive people afterwards with shows and games and in the evening fireworks are taking place in the whole country.
Politicians make a lot of (bla,bla) speaches which nobody listens to. But yesterday evening out of the TV screen spoke our king Albert II.
As you can see he didn't wear a crown and royal outfit as THE QUEEN uses to do but only a (not so) nicely cutted suit. He smiled fatherly to us and first thanked the doctors and nurses who had taken care of him when he had broken his hip and the whole medical staff in his country.
Then he told us to learn each others language to better understand the other's culture, referring to the constant quarrels between french and flemish speaking people. I was a little doubtful about the culture since I had travelled with this flemish group, but you should never generalize.
He gave some other fatherly advices and ended his speach with good wishes for a happy national day also in behalf of the queen (not THE QUEEN) and his whole family. Then appeared the castle where he lives and the usual head of the speaker replaced him on the screen.
Today the big parade takes place in front of the king, and his family and of course the governement. And as on each 21 July it will rain. The belgians call it affectionately "the national shower". It doesn't happen very often that it doesn't rain this day.
So we all can watch wet soldiers, wet firemen, wet horses, in short a wet parade.
But nevertheless people enjoy that day and very important : it's a day off !