Belgian royal palace 'not evacuated' following terror attacks

Gemma Strong

Belgium's royal palace, located in central Brussels, has not been evacuated following Tuesday's terror attacks in the capital. Amid increasing speculation, a official statement was released on Twitter denying the claims. "Contrary to some reports, the royal palace has not been evacuated," it read.

The Royal Palace of Belgium, which is situated in front of Brussels Park, is the official palace for King Philippe and his wife Queen Mathilde. However, it is not used as their royal residence; the couple live in the Royal Palace of Laeken on the outskirts of Brussles with their children, Princess Elisabeth, 14, Prince Gabriel, 12, Prince Emmanuel, 10, and Princess Eleonore, seven.

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King Philippe and Queen Mathilde have expressed their shock at the "odious attacks"

The family have expressed their shock and sadness following the series of explosions in Brussels on Tuesday morning. At least 31 people were killed in attacks on Brussels airport and a central metro station, with more than 130 people injured.

A message from the royal palace following the tragic events read: "Shocked by odious attacks in Brussels national and Brussels metro. Our thoughts go to victims, families and emergency services."

Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel called the attacks "blind, violent and cowardly", adding: "This is a day of tragedy, a black day… I would like to call on everyone to show calmness and solidarity."

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The terror attacks have been met with numerous displays of solidarity online

David Cameron has reached out to his counterpart in the wake of the incident, to offer the nation's "sympathies and condolences". "We must stand with Belgium at this very difficult time," he tweeted.

The terror attacks were met almost immediately with displays of solidarity online. The word "Brussels" in various languages dominated Twitter's list of top worldwide trends, while Pray for Belgium", "Pray for Brussels" and "Je Suis Bruxelles" were among the most popular Twitter slogans, all used tens of thousands of times in the hours after the incident.

Inside Belgium, meanwhile, the hashtag "ikwilhelpen" (I want to help) became a top trend, as people offered assistance to those left stranded by the closing of the airport and the city's transport network.

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