United Kingdom

Belgian royal family share portrait of King Philippe of Belgium as he celebrates his 61st birthday

The Belgian royal family has released a new portrait of King Philippe to mark his 61st birthday.

Looking suave in a formal black suit with a vibrant purple tie, the monarch is seen relaxing on a luxurious chair while gazing out of a window.

The sophisticated photograph of Philippe was shared to the royal household's Instagram account today, alongside the caption: 'Thank you for your birthday wishes!' 

The Belgian royal family has released a new portrait of King Philippe to mark his 61st birthday (pictured)

Philippe is married to Queen Mathilde of Belgium, with the royal couple having four children together - Princess Elisabeth, 19, Prince Gabriel, 17, Prince Emmanuel, 15, and Princess Eléonore, 12.

It's unclear exactly how the king plans to celebrate his birthday today, although it's thought that he'll be spending the day with his family.

Schools in Belgium have been shut for three weeks - including over Easter - but will reopen next Monday. 

Yesterday, Belgium’s prime minister also announced the country will reopen restaurants and bars for outdoor service next month, and lift a night-time curfew, as COVID-19 cases continue to decrease. 

Princess Elisabeth, Prince Gabriel, Princess Eleonore, Queen Mathilde, King Philippe and Prince Emmanuel pose together at the Giant's Tomb in Bouillon, Belgium, on June 28, 2020

Bars and restaurants have been shut down since mid-October because of the pandemic, but can reopen their outdoor spaces from May 8.

Meanwhile, hair salons and tattoo shops can reopen on April 26, with further easing of lockdown restrictions expected in June, when a large majority of people aged over 65 will have been vaccinated.

In March, the monarch visited Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine production site in Puurs, Belgium.

Philippe heard about the significant efforts made by employees to ensure the production of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for many countries.

He also visited the Focus Cell, where the vaccines are bottled, and the freezing room where the jabs are stored, packaged and finally shipped.

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