THE Belgian royals have spent Easter week walking the Camino de Santiago continuing their journey on the famous pilgrimage route across northern Spain that began pre-pandemic.
King Phillipe, 62, and Queen Mathilde, 49, and their four children, Elisabeth, Gabriel, Emmanuel and Eleonore, first began their pilgrimage along the Jacobean route during Holy Week in 2017.
They continued the following year and the year after that each time picking up where they left off the year before.
But the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to any chance of continuing during the following two Easters.
But now, they have once again returned, this time walking a section of the Camino through the province of Palencia in Castilla y Leon.
They began the walk on Saturday April 9 and completed 70 km from Itero de la Vega to San Nicolas de Real Camino by Tuesday of Holy Week.
Although accompanied by a security team and supported by officers from the Guardia Civil, the Royals were on a private visit to Spain with friends and no official engagements took place.
Local newspaper Diario de Palantino reported on the trip and published photos of the family looking like any other family out on a walk.
It was reported that they spent one night in Carrion de los Condes where they are likely to have stayed in the parador, Real Monasterio de San Zoilo, rather than the bunk beds offered in the more humble albergue.
The Belgian King and Queen who have been married since 1999 are known to have a strong Catholic faith.
They recently announced they would offer accommodation to three Ukrainian refugee families within the Royal apartments.
- EXCLUSIVE: ‘Like normal tourists’ Dutch King and Queen make incognito visit to romantic Ronda in Spain’s Andalucia
- FIT FOR A PRINCESS: Benahavis has hosted royalty, oligarchs, politicians and world famous actors