In the fall of 2000, Crown Prince Philippe and Crown Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Duke and Duchess of Brabant, visited New York City. As soon as I learned they would be here, I e-mailed the Belgian Consulate to find out which events would be open to the public. I was told that the royal couple could be seen at two events on September 10. First I went to Rockefeller Plaza, where the security and media prevented me from getting any good pictures. I was more successful at the D'Agostino Supermarket at 23rd St. and 8th Ave., which kicked off its "Belgian Week" with a visit from Belgium's future sovereign and his wife. After they left the store I was able to shake hands with both of them and briefly welcome them to New York. They were very gracious and I was thrilled to be there, as I believe was everyone else present. Below are my photos from this exciting occasion.
Princess Mathilde is welcomed by the store's owners as she arrives.
Princess Mathilde is joined by her husband; they greet the crowd as they prepare to enter the store.
Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde greet children as they leave the store.
Princess Mathilde continues to delight the crowd as her husband looks on (just after I met them).