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Princess Mathilde has the look of love as happy marriages take centre stage

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The Belgian crown princess and prince seemed wrapped up in their own private world as they helped his parents celebrate their golden wedding anniversary
 Photo: © Getty Images

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The king and queen (top right) had also invited several ordinary couples who married on the same day as them or their children to share in the festivities
 Photo: © Rex

02 SEPTEMBER 2009

One couple who couldn't agree more with the saying: "Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage" are Mathilde and Philippe of Belgium.

Everything about the normally rather reserved royals exuded marital bliss during a family gathering at Laeken Castle, the official seat of the country's monarch.

A tender arm around his neck, the crown princess smiled lovingly at her husband, all the while whispering softly to him as they joined his parents for a special celebration.

King Albert and Queen Paola had called their nearest and dearest together to mark their golden wedding anniversary.

Long, happy unions are something of a tradition in the clan – a fact the royal patriarch was happy to play up.

The festivities also marked 10 years of marriage for his eldest son and heir Philippe and the silver wedding of daughter Astrid, who is the wife of Archduke Lorenz of Austria-Este.

Meanwhile, his youngest son Laurent was celebrating his sixth anniversary with his British-born princess, Claire.

To share the event with ordinary members of the public Albert and Paola had also invited couples who married on the same day as them – July 2, 1959 - or their children.