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King and queen on state visit to Canada
Belgium’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde are currently in Canada on an official state visit, together with a delegation of more than 200 business leaders, politicians, academics and reporters. Although there have been economic missions to Canada since, the last state visit was in 1977.
A state visit differs from other missions in that they are carried out only by heads of state, which can be royalty or government leaders, depending on the country. Despite the make-up of the delegation from Belgium, state visits are not intended as political or business-related events per se but as a show of friendly bilateral relations.
The visit is the first to a Western country outside of Europe for King Philippe since he ascended to the throne in 2013. Flanders News reports that the king and queen headed to one of those famous Canadian forests today to try their hand at tapping a maple tree for syrup. Once the syrup was out and hardened, the pair wrapped it around sticks