King Philippe, Queen Mathilde and their four children attended a Te Deum service at Cathedral of Saints Michel-and-Gudule in Brussels to commemorate Belgium’s Independence Day on Tuesday, 21 July 2020.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde arrive with Princess Elisabeth at the Cathedral of Saints Michel and Gudule in Brussels. Photo: Facebook/Belgian Monarchy

The Cathedral was decorated with Origami For Life display symbolises a united Belgium during the coronavirus.

Thousands of artists, through origami, pays tribute to all coronavirus victims.

Origami For Life artwork in the Cathedral of Saints Michel and Gudule in Brussels. Photo: Facebook/Belgian Monarchy

Independence Day is a national holiday but events were scaled down as no military parades, festivities in the park or fireworks will take park.

A scaled-down celebration was held in the Place des Palais paying tribute to the heroes of the coronavirus and commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The Belgian Royal Family during the Te Deum service. From left to right: Princess Eléonore, Prince Gabriel, Queen Mathilde, King Philippe, Princess Elisabeth and Prince Emmanuel. Photo: Facebook/Belgian Monarchy

Origin of Independence Day

Belgium had been part of the Netherlands since 1815 but in 1830 an uprising began for the country to become independent.

A Conference of European countries recognised Belgium as an independent country.

The Belgians invited Leopold I of Saxe-Coburg to become their king, after considering several candidates.

Leopold I, King of the Belgians by Portrait by Nicaise De Keyser, 1856

Leopold accepted and was proclaimed ‘King of the Belgians’ on 26 June 1831.

On 21 July 1831 Leopold swore allegiance to the constitution in the Royal Palace and this day has been observed as a Belgian national holiday ever since.

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