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Back at the Residence: the Queen’s Birthday Party
The annual reception organised by the British Embassy in Brussels to celebrate the Queen’s Birthday was back at the British Residence after a year of renovation.
The Residence, in keeping with the ‘Britain is Great’ theme, was known for the occasion as the Great British Home, and featured, as well as sumptuous British staples (fish & chips, smoked salmon, steak sandwiches…) and live jazz, twenty exciting British companies in contemporary interior design, jewellery and home ware, displaying their high-end products to the Belgian market. Most eye-catching of all were ceramics by Carol Newmarch, timepieces by Royal London and adorably loud animal-themed pillows by Space 1a Design, made from 100% sustainable materials.
In his speech, Ambassador Jonathan Brenton underlined the Belgo-British identity of the Residence, calling it “a Belgian home as well as British one – with a Belgian style we have lovingly restored”.
The British Residence, he said, is “a place where we want people to feel at home”, a place that is “open for business (…), open for politics (…), open for science and education, open for British citizens, those who help British citizens in distress, and for those who represent British citizens, open to our friends from Belgium and elsewhere.”
Referring to the return to the Residence as a “homecoming”, he said there was “no better way to celebrate homecoming than to be celebrating the birthday of Her Majesty The Queen*,” adding that royalty was ”something that brings us together as Britons and Belgians”. The Belgian royal family was represented by Prince Laurent and his wife, Somerset-born Princess Claire.
The Ambassador concluded his speech with a toast to the Queen, asking all his guests to “raise [their] glasses for Her Majesty.”
More pictures on our Facebook page.
* The Queen was born on 21 April 1926. However, the UK always celebrates the birthday of the reigning monarch on a date near the beginning of June.