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King Philippe of Belgium addresses the nation after attacks: 'Lives have been shattered, there are deep wounds'

Ainhoa Barcelona
Content Managing Editor
March 23, 2016
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Leaders around the world have condemned the terrorist attacks that took place in Brussels on Tuesday morning. King Philippe made a televised appearance later that evening, empathising with the people of Belgium.

"Today our country is in mourning," said the king. "For all of us March 22 will never again be a day like any other. Lives have been shattered, there are deep wounds. Our whole country shares the suffering."

Philippe, who is married to Queen Mathilde, added: "Queen Mathilde and I share your pain, those of you who have lost a loved one, or who've been hurt by today's cowardly and odious attacks."

king philippe1 © Photo: Getty Images

King Philippe called the terrorist attacks "cowardly and odious"

He concluded by saying that faced with threats, the nation will continue to respond with "strength, calmness and dignity".

Belgium is holding three days of national mourning following Tuesday's attacks at the Zaventem airport and the Maelbeek metro station. The death toll has risen to 31 while more than 260 people have been injured.

Flags are being flown at half mast, and a minute's silence was observed on Wednesday morning. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde have also visited victims at Erasme hospital in Brussels.

king philippe2 © Photo: Getty Images

"Queen Mathilde and I share your pain," said the royal

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel also condemned the attacks in a televised speech. "I'd like to say with full force to those who have chosen to support a barbaric enemy of freedom, democracy and fundamental values, to say to them that we will stay united and together, that we will stay fully mobilised," he said.

"Today's profound sadness will rest in our hearts and stomachs, but with great determination, we will act to protect our freedom and way of life."

king philippe3 © Photo: Getty Images

A minute's silence was held on Wednesday morning

Shortly after the attacks, it was reported that the Belgian royal family had been evacuated to safety. However, a post on the palace's official Twitter account denied the speculation.

"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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