Belgium to have a new King

CNC report from Brussels
Added On July 21, 2013

Preparations have been made for the abdication of King Albert II of Belgium, who will officially end his 20-year reign on Sunday.

The Belgian people thank for what their king have done for the country with a long divide between Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north and French-speaking Wallonia in the south.

This sand statue of Belgian king Albert II and his son Philippe in Blankenberge, northern Belgium, should be ready by the day of the coronation of the new king on July 21.

The whole country is preparing for this historic moment.

SOUNDBITE(French): FRANCIS VERSTRAETEN, CITIZEN 
"I will be 70 years old and Philippe will be the fourth king I will have.So it is a continuity because either with the previous kings, Belgium has always been a small great country where we speak with the heart."

Monarchy in Belgium, although with a smaller importance than monarchy in Britain, has a symbolic meaning for Belgians.

King Albert II stepping out the throne is popular among both people and politicians for his openness and vigour.

King Albert's role as the intermediary was crucial during the political crisis, when the country was struggling to form the federal government for 541 days.

Belgium's crown Philippe, who will on the 21st of July become the nation's seventh sovereign might face similar problem as his father. He will pass the real test in May 2014 during the next parliamentary elections.

Despite the difficulties may face the new king, Belgian people have great confidence in their new monarch.

SOUNDBITE (English): LENNERT DAELEMAN, CITIZEN
"I wish him luck. Sometimes in the media he is portraited as a very shy person, but I think he will learn very quickly and I think he has a potential to be new great king."

SOUNDBITE(French): FRANCIS VERSTRAETEN, CITIZEN
"The new king, I have a confidence in him. He is over 50 years old and he was trained to replace his father one day and he proved his capacity already. He did a lot in the international commerce, he worked a lot for Belgium's prosperity."