In his annual Christmas speech, the Belgian head of state delivered a message of hope and encouragement amid the ongoing health crisis.
From the Royal Palace in Laeken, King Philippe reminded everyone that although Christmas isn’t the same this year and we can’t celebrate with all our loved ones, “love and friendship is still stronger than separation.”
The challenges may be overwhelming at the moment, but the King expressed confidence that the situation will improve in the coming months.
The Belgian monarch recalled the lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic. First of all, he said, it proved that we are capable of coping.
The sovereign hailed the admirable efforts of the health care force. He thanked those who have kept the country afloat by continuing to provide services. And he called to mind the extraordinary acts of kindness and generosity that people extended to others.
The crisis exposed our fragility and forced us to accept our dependence on one another, the King said. But it also taught us “to listen and to understand each other better.” He added that dependence can be a strength if lived with respect and trust.
King Philippe acknowledged the impact of drastic health measures on people’s liberties, but he reminded everyone that “freedom only has full meaning when lived with and for others, for the good of the whole community.”
The King ended his speech with a special message to young people. He assured them that even if the pandemic is currently preventing them from enjoying their youth, they will one day be able to spread their wings again and make their dreams come true.