Belgian royal family hit the slopes for fun-filled skiing holiday
04 MARCH 2014
The Belgian royals made the most of the school holidays as they travelled to Switzerland for a family skiing trip.
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde gathered their children for their first skiing holiday since the couple were crowned Belgium's monarchs in July of last year.
Pictured on the slopes of Verbier — a favourite resort with celebrities in south-western Switzerland — the royals looked delighted to be spending quality time together.
Philippe, 53, and Mathilde, 41, stood with their four adorable children — Princess Elisabeth, 12, Prince Gabriel, ten, Prince Emmanuel, eight and five-year-old Princess Eléonore.
The happy family beamed at the cameras as they posed in front of a chalet. Coordinating in red ski outfits, three of the children matched while Gabriel sported an all-black ensemble.
Philippe and Mathilde, who have been married for 14 years, led their brood in waving at the cameras and holding up their ski poles in excitement. The four children then huddled together to pose for a sweet snapshot.
The royal family looked picture perfect as they skied down the slopes in tandem. Doting father Philippe led his youngsters at the front, followed by Eléonore, Emmanuel, Gabriel and Elisabeth. Proud mum Mathilde kept a watchful eye as she skied at the back with the snow falling thickly.
After Philippe's father Albert II abdicated last July, the family-of-six stepped out onto the balcony of the royal palace to greet and wave to the cheering crowds. Earlier in the day the father and son duo took centre stage at the abdication ceremony.
"In Philippe and Mathilde I place my trust," said Albert as he signed his act of abdication. "Philippe you possess a great heart and intelligence to serve our country," he added, embracing his son in a warm hug before thanking his wife Paola for her years of support.