Belgium National Day Celebrated on 21 July

The Diplomatic Informer Magazine wishes to congratulate the people of Belgium on the anniversary of National day. Wishing the Government & the people of Belgium continued unity, peace & prosperity

Belgian Independence Day is celebrated annually on July 21. It is one of Belgium’s 10 public holidays and commemorates the investiture of the country’s first monarch, King Leopold I, who took the constitutional oath in 1831.

This day also celebrates the separation of Belgium from the Netherlands and the formal establishment of the Kingdom. It was decided that Belgium would become a constitutional and popular monarchy, reflecting the romantic nationalism that was popular at the time. The celebrations take place at the Place des Palais in Belgium.

Since 1815, Belgium had been part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. The majority of the population were Roman Catholic and increasingly believed the rule of King William I favored the Northern Protestants. The discontentment was intensified by high levels of unemployment in the South. In August 1830, several riots took place, calling for Belgium to secede from the Netherlands.

After the independence on October 4, 1830, which was recognized by a London Conference of major European powers, the Belgian National Congress considered several candidates to become king, and after much debate, Leopold I of Saxe-Coburg was asked to become king of the newly-formed country. He accepted and was proclaimed “King of the Belgians” on June 26, 1831.

Leopold I sailed into France, from Dover to Calais, and was taken to the Belgian border village of De Panne on July 17, 1831. He traveled through the country, visiting Bruges and Ghent among others. Then on July 21, 1831, as he stood on the Place Royale in Brussels, he took the constitutional oath, accepting the role of the first king of the Belgians.

This day became the Belgian national holiday. On this day, parks and venues across town hold concerts and other activities. The Parliament chambers, the central bank, and other institutions are open to the public. A large military parade takes place in Brussels, attracting over 100,000 spectators.

The Diplomatic Informer
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