It was a day filled with adventure for the Belgian royal family when they visited Sealife National Marine Park over the weekend.
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde brought their four children – Princess Elisabeth, Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel and Princess Eleonore – to the coastal town of Blankenberge in the province of West Flanders.
The youngsters looked thrilled to be setting off on their summer holidays, which usually starts with a stay in Belgium followed by a trip overseas.
The Belgian royal chldren had a whale of a time feeding the penguins
Judging by the children”s expressions, the highlight of the day seemed to be a stop at the penguin enclosure.
Princess Elisabeth, who is first-in-line to the throne, set an example for her younger siblings as she donned her safety gloves and followed the park attendant”s instructions. The twelve-year-old reached out to offer pieces of fish to the penguins, and was quickly followed by her brothers and sister.
Six-year-old Princess Eleonore looked more tentative as she got up close and personal to one creature and bent down to pet its head. Gabriel, ten, and Emmanuel, eight, joined in on the fun while their mother Queen Mathilde watched on.
The family-of-six moved on to visit the turtle enclosure, where they gawped through the tanks at a sea turtle, described as being unique to Belgium on the aquarium”s website.
The family-of-six had recently flown back from Belgian Prince Amedeo”s wedding in Rome
Philippe and Mathilde, who are styled as the king and queen of the Belgians after ascending the throne last July, looked to be enjoying quality time with their children in their native country.
The family had recently flown back from Rome, where they attended the wedding of Philippe”s nephew Prince Amedeo to his Italian bride Elisabetta Rosboch von Wolkenstein.
Princess Elisabeth played her part as a bridesmaid to perfection, while her siblings behaved impeccably throughout the ceremony.
In the past, the Belgian royals have made the most of their school holidays, with skiing trips to Switzerland and summers in France.