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Mathilde in step at dance gala

February 6, 2006
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Belgium's Princess Mathilde was looking typically elegant when she arrived for a ballet performance in Antwerp wearing a floor-length black velvet coat. The popular royal would have had her work cut out to steal attention away from her eye-catching hosts, however, as they were sporting an array of vibrant stage costumes.

The 33-year-old, who stepped out for the Star Dance gala, came face-to-face with some colourful characters when she met performers after the final curtain went down. One of the male dancers was sporting an Oriental-style turquoise tunic with drop earrings as he stepped forward to greet the VIP guest, while another of his peers managed to turn heads by simply dispensing with wearing anything over his upper body.

Crown Prince Philippe's wife was no doubt pleased of the chance to enjoy a night out, as she has her hands full these days with five-month-old Prince Emmanuel. And with two more young children, Elisabeth and Gabriel, both waiting for her at home, family matters are never far from the princess' mind.

Mathilde also finds time to concern herself with the well-being of children around the world, though. Just last week she gave a lecture on the importance of microcredit programmes to students at the College of Europe in Bruges. The mother-of-three, who works as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Fund, promotes short-term loans that benefit families in poor countries.

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Photo: ©
The royal visitor chats with two performers at the Star Dance showPhoto: © Rex
Photo: ©
Another striking performer steps forward to greet the royal guestPhoto: © Rex

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