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  • Aug 27, 2014
  • Updated: 7:10pm
NewsHong Kong

Hong Kong officials admit they got Queen of the Belgians' title wrong

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 December, 2013, 5:04am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 December, 2013, 7:34am

When is the Queen of Belgium not the Queen of Belgium? Answer: when she is not correctly addressed as Queen of the Belgians.

In a case of better late than never, Hong Kong officials have admitted they made a royal error during Queen Mathilde's three-day visit earlier this month.

In official press releases before and during her tour, the Hong Kong government referred to her as the Queen of Belgium.

But this title "simply does not exist", said Paul De Vos, the Belgian deputy consul general in Hong Kong.

The correct title is Queen of the Belgians, and the same goes for the king, who is known as King of the Belgians.

"The title goes back to the founding of the country in 1831 when Belgium pioneered the first constitutional monarchy," De Vos said.

It means that the king and queen are not absolute monarchs, and were leaders of the inhabitants, not the country.

"It is not an insult but it is simply wrong," he said.

In his 30 years as a diplomat, De Vos could not recall a government making such a correction, but said the error was "perfectly understandable".

He added: "We appreciate the government's steps to realise the mistake and to correct it."

A spokeswoman for the Hong Kong government's protocol division said: "We approached the Consulate General of Belgium for clarification and were told that overseas media sometimes refer to Queen Mathilde as 'Queen of Belgium'.

"The Consulate General does not mind the department addressing the Queen as such.

"Considering that it is an official visit by the Queen, the Information Services Department decided that it would be more appropriate to use the Queen's official title in its press releases."


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This form of title is a very ancient concept. In Scotland the monarch was always King or Queen of Scots and never of Scotland. As for the language spoken by the Belgian monarch, they are bi-lingual.
obviously our political officials are not paid enough to do their 5 day a week jobs and check the basics
I wonder what will happen when they next announce that Mrs Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor Queen of the Englishmen will be passing through here accompanied by Phillip Mountbatten? (+ stopped at Immigration because they have no passports)
Likewise, next time CY goes overseas he should be 'Mayor of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the Peoples Republic of China ' when he visits Barack President of the African Americans, Caucasian Americans, Puerto Rican Americans & the Sioux , Apache + Cherokee Nations
Interesting idea
A country is not the same as its people
who occupy its land and develop its culture
So country is a political concept
Supposedly they have a Prime Minister
and a government of Belgian, not Belgians
Do Belgians pay what used to be crown rent here?
Is the monarch Flemish or Walloon speaking?
OK, as a Belgian I did not know either. Sorry Paul.


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