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Belgian royals meet up with Nelson Mandela

March 15, 2006
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It's not every day you get to meet a world-famous icon and one also known for his line in snappy shirts. So for her meeting with Nelson Mandela Belgium's Crown Princess Mathilde had chosen her outfit carefully, opting for a chic floral jacket and red trousers.

Meanwhile her husband Crown Prince Philippe was in a smart pinstripe suit for their appointment with the former president. Facing cameras at the headquarters of his foundation, the 87-year-old seemed in good spirits, despite reports of his increasing fraility.

When a Belgian journalist broached the topic of his health, asking: "How do you feel?" the South African statesman politely brushed the question aside.

Since leaving office in 1999, the former African leader has worked tirelessly for causes such as the global anti-poverty movement, illiteracy and AIDS. So he would have had a lot to talk about with Mathilde, also a high-profile campaigner for youngsters affected by the disease.

For the princess it was the second meeting of the five-day trip with a Nobel Laureate. Earlier in the week the Belgian royals also got the opportunity to talk with Bishop Desmond Tutu at a project for HIV-affected children.

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Photo: ©
The Belgium royals met the former president during a five-day visit to South Africa. Princess Mathilde has a special interest in helping children affected by HIV and AIDSPhoto: © AFP
Photo: ©
The legendary human rights campaigner was on good form as he posed for the camerasPhoto: © AFP

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