Queen Mathilde visited the district of Huy-Waremme throughout the morning. A home, a clothing workshop, a factory and a crowd bath. Big program.
The visit of Queen Mathilde began at the Saint-Joseph residence, in Racour. The 88 residents had been waiting since 8:30 a.m. in the corridors to see the Queen pass. A long wait but they did not regret: “It was worth it. She is very kind. It is an honor to be able to welcome him … “
Mathilde then attended a meeting with managers and volunteers: “She asked a lot of questions, explains Raymond Lénaerts, the director. We can see that she is really interested. It goes beyond simple courtesy… ”
In the space for disoriented people, the queen participated in an intergenerational workshop bringing together residents and children from the schools of Lincent and Racour. “We were a little stressed. We didn’t want the ball to fall on him ”, the children pointed out afterwards.
Discover the visit of Queen Mathilde in our video report below:
The coming of the queen, a great recognition for J & Joy at Waremme
On the J & Joy side, in Waremme, there were only a few citizens to wait, leaning on the Nadar barriers placed on the other side of the road, in the parking lot of the store which faces the brand’s workshops, smartphones ready. Just arrived, Queen Mathilde seemed impatient to learn more about the brand. She was therefore invited to participate in a “round table” where the head of the company, Pierre Hamblenne, explained the genesis of the brand and its values. “It was not easy to give a full presentation because we were running out of time, expresses the latter. We are very happy because she asked very relevant and interesting questions. ”
A few minutes later, the sovereign settled on the workbench where a few stylists devoted themselves to explanations of the brand’s influences, style and artistic principles, all illustrated by sketches. The curious queen asked many questions and was interested and attentive during the entire exchange.
And before leaving, various gifts were offered by J & Joy to the king, the queen but also to their children. At that moment, Mathilde did not fail to excuse the absence of the king: “I’m sorry for my husband”, she said.
BIOWANZE: in the realm of bioethanol
Then head to the Mosane valley with a first stop at BioWanze, the largest producer of bioethanol in Belgium. “The last visit by a member of the royal family dates back to the mid-1990s when widowed Queen Fabiola came to greet the launch of the twinning between Wanze and Koksijde”, rejoiced the Wagner mayor Christophe Lacroix while waiting for the arrival of the royal procession. Welcomed by André Tonneaux, director of BioWanze, Queen Mathilde was first explained the process which consists in combining wheat and beet syrup to arrive at bioethanol. But, the highlight of the visit was the discovery of BioWanze’s number one pride: its biomass boiler that burns wheat bran and allows the plant to run on 65% non-fossil energy. “The objective is to be able to operate within three years with 90% of the local biomass. We think we can meet the challenge. And 2029 must be the year of carbon neutrality. “
The projects for the next ten years (including the recovery of the CO2 produced by ethanol in the production of sparkling water) were also communicated to it almost exclusively. The queen was able to speak directly with staff, including engineers and operators in the control room. His visit ended with a staff honor guard and a gift. “We gave him a bag from recycled fabric and we filled it with local food products”, says Laurane Kaye, spokesperson for BioWanze.
The Huy Grand-Place was crowded with people
The royal visit ended at the Huy Grand Place, where several hundred of them made the trip to hope to see the queen up close. “She brought the sun with her”, said Guilaine, a Wanzoise, happy to have been able to shake the sovereign’s hand again. Many children pressed on the safety cords delimited by Nadar barriers. No sooner had the queen set foot on the Hutian pavement than the applause sounded. The crowds can finally begin, to the delight of citizens, but also of local authorities. “His coming is a recognition for the city, as the capital of a sub-region. Because it is important that the sovereigns move beyond the big cities ”, expresses the bourgmestre.
A visit which also ended with a meeting with city officials, CHRH staff, members of the ASBL au Fil de l’Eau (Heron) and representatives of civil society.
To read on 4 special pages in L’Avenir for this Thursday, January 16, 2020, on Tablet, smartphone or PC