Belgian Royals Celebrate [Pictures] Amid Diamond Scandal and Death Threats

Queen Paola, left, holds King Albert's chin up for the picture following a church office held at the Saint Michel's Cathedral in Brussels, Wednesday, July 21, 2010, for Belgium's National Day.(AP Photo/Thierry Charlier) Thierry Charlier

Belgian Royals on National Day
Queen Paola, left, holds King Albert's chin up for the picture following a church office held at the Saint Michel's Cathedral in Brussels, Wednesday, July 21, 2010, for Belgium's National Day.(AP Photo/Thierry Charlier)

The Belgian royal family led the rest of the kingdom in celebrating Belgium' 180th anniversary in National Day festivities Wednesday in Brussels.

Following a long-standing tradition, the royals gathered for a Te Deum Mass at St. Michel et Gudule , followed by a walkabout among citizens and a military parade in front of the palace.

Pictures: National Day in Belgium

King Albert II led the ceremonies with his wife, Queen Paola, who is embroiled in a growing scandal over defuse a growing scandal over reports that the impoverished central African nation of Democratic Republic of Congo gave her a gift of diamonds during her recent visit.

Also on hand was Quen Fabiola, the king's sister-in-law and the wife of the late King Baudouin I. As happened last year, the queen received death threats Last year, she mocked them by brandishing an apple at the celebration in reference to threats that she would be killed by a crossbow. This year, she took no note of them.

Also present were Crown Prince Philippe and Crown Princess Mathilde, Princess Astrid, Prince Laurent and his wife, Princess Claire.

  • Mary-Jayne McKay

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