King Philip and Prime Minister De Croo Receive President Biden at the Palace
US President Joe Biden is in Brussels this morning, in between NATO and EU summits, for an audience with King Philippe.
It is the second royal visit he makes on his first trip abroad as president after he already had tea with the British Queen Elizabeth on Sunday with his wife, Jill.
King Philippe welcomed the American president at the Palace with a short video moment in front of the camera in the company of Prime Minister De Croo. First lady Jill is not with us today, and she has already returned home.
Biden is, however, accompanied by his Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and his own Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès are also present. The visit is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 12 noon.
Joe and Filip have met each other before. In 2011, Philip was still a crown prince, and Biden was vice president under Barack Obama. The then Prince Philippe and his wife Mathilde visited the White House as part of a major Belgian trade mission to the US. The story goes that Filip would rather meet Obama, but protocol did not allow that because Filip was not yet a head of state or government.
After Filip became king in 2013, Queen Mathilde and himself did meet Obama, including when he was in Brussels in 2014. The royal couple also received Donald Trump and his wife Melania at the Palace in 2017.