October 2, 2014 -- Updated 4:10 pm GMT

Belgian Royals On State Visit To India

Posted in: Belgium

King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium are on a ten day tour of India. The visit kicked off on Sunday, November 2nd, and will last until the 12th. belgium india 300x211 Belgian Royals On State Visit To India

This visit is expected to boost economic and academic relations with the two countries. Top CEOs and university leaders from Belgium are accompanying the royal couple.

Upon arriving in India, Queen Paola went to see the Taj Mahal by herself. When asked by photographers to sit on the bench, where many world leaders have sat for photos, the Queen refused. It is unknown why Paola belgium taj mahal 216x300 Belgian Royals On State Visit To Indiadid not want to sit there, but it may be because she didn’t want to cut out a solitary figure in any photographs.

On Tuesday, the King and Queen met with Indian President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi. The King had a chance to discuss bilateral and global issues with Singh, as well as the global financial crisis.

Later, the King of the Belgians addressed India’s top business leaders and entrepreneurs and made a pitch for attracting Indian investment in his country.

“A change is needed in the global financial system, with the International Monetary Fund reinventing itself in light of the current financial turmoil that is rocking the world markets,” said Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath in his address to a seminar on ‘India and Belgium – Partners in a Globalised World’.

Patil and Singh escorted the royal couple to a memorial site for Mahatma Gandhi. There, King Albert sprinkled flower petals on the site.

Wednesday saw Albert and Paola visit sacred sites in New Delhi. They went to a gurudwara (Sikh Temple) and the Laxmi belgium gurudwara1 300x215 Belgian Royals On State Visit To IndiaNarayan Hindu temple. Later, Queen Paola paid a visit to a cancer center.

The King and Queen are expected to travel throughout India, and go to such cities as Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad. They will continue to promote relations between Belgium and India, a rising economic power in the world.

This is the second royal visit India has seen in less than a month. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden was here, though her visit did not receive much media coverage and was not officially about strengthening diplomatic ties between Sweden and India.

Crown Prince Haakon In Mongolia As A UN Ambassador

Posted in: Norway

The future King of Norway is currently in Mongolia, as a goodwill ambassador from the United Nations. He will be there for several days, and the point of his mission is to see how the sparsely populated country is doing according to the UN’s Millenium Development Goals. haakon mongolia 300x257 Crown Prince Haakon In Mongolia As A UN Ambassador

One of the first places Crown Prince Haakon went to was a school in Ulan Bator. There, he spent many hours with the students, talking to them about Norway and Mongolia. More than 100 children live at the school, under substandard conditions.

The school is established by a local volunteer organization that is actively working on improving the situation of migrants and the weak in one of Ulan Bator’s poorest areas.

On Tuesday, Haakon traveled to the remote areas of Mongolia, to see the nomads of the country. There, he shot an arrow, rode a horse bare-backed, checked out some Mongolian camels, and met with a nomadic family. A third of Mongolians live the lives of nomads, despite living in the 21st century.

The lifestyles of the nomads are of particular interest to the UN’s Millenium Development. Being in remote areas means not having full access to health treatment, and educating a child means sending it to boarding school.

The evening ended with local traditional Mongolian food and entertainment. Crown Prince Haakon had even stay in the traditional Mongolian tent while strong wind and freezing temperatures took place outside.

The Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations’ purpose is to build a world more prosperous and safer. That means eradicating poverty, fighting AIDS and infant mortality, among other objectives.

Mongolia has been seeing its fair share of royals lately. This past August, Prince Albert of Monaco made a business trip there, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark made a diplomatic tour of the country. In addition, the Duke of York and his daughter, Princess Eugenie, will be stopping by on their central Asia tour.