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New Belgian King presides over military parade

Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 - 00:57

July 21- King Philippe presides over a military parade hours after becoming Belgium's new monarch. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Belgium swore in Philippe as its new king on Sunday after his father Albert II abdicated. Philippe's investiture was tagged onto festivities already planned for July 21, which is Belgium's national day and also marked 20 years of Albert's reign. The new king and his family watched a military parade from a stage erected in front of the Royal Palace. Philippe is the seventh king of the 183-year-old country which is split across the middle. Many Dutch speakers seek greater autonomy for Flanders in the north and are wary of a monarchy seen to be rooted in the once powerful, but now poorer French-speaking Wallonia in the south. But at least for the day of the coronation the crowd outside the palace was in a festive mood. Fewer than half of the people in Flanders believe Philippe will be a good king compared with two-thirds in Wallonia, according to an opinion poll. Belgian kings do plenty of handshaking and ribbon-cutting, but also appoint mediators and potential government heads to steer coalition talks after elections, no small task in Belgium. Even royalist Belgians feel they know little about Philippe, who has appeared reserved in public, in contrast to his more outgoing father.

New Belgian King presides over military parade

Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 - 00:57

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