Belgium welcomes new king

Associated Press
Belgium's King Philippe, right, kisses the hand of Queen Mathilde as they stand on the balcony of the royal palace in Brussels on Sunday, July 21, 2013. Philippe has taken the oath before parliament to become Belgium's seventh king after his father Albert II abdicated as the head of this fractured nation. Earlier Sunday, the 79-year-old Albert signed away his rights as the kingdom's largely ceremonial ruler at the royal palace in the presence of Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, who holds the political power in this 183-year-old parliamentary democracy. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

View gallery

16 photos

Belgians shouted "Long live the king" on July 21 to welcome their new monarch to the throne on a sunny national holiday. But several legislators from northern Flanders boycotted King Philippe I's coronation, highlighting longstanding feuding between the nation's Dutch-speaking Flemings and Francophones — the biggest challenge the new monarch will face. (AP)

View Comments (12)