Working in a Palace
The King and Queen work with a whole team known as the “Royal Household”. The Royal Palace is run like a company or a government department and creates work for tens of people: advisers, secretaries, cleaners, gardeners, etc.
The General Secretary coordinates the work of the whole team and prepares the King's work programme. With the Chief of Protocol, he organises public activities: audiences, receptions, formal dinners, external visits.
The Chief of Cabinet to the King is in contact with the government, politicians, businesses and the social and cultural institutions throughout Belgium. With the Diplomatic Advisor, he also manages relations between the King and other countries. The Chief of Cabinet, along with the Head of Media and Communication, provides the correct information to the press: television, radio and newspapers. Television, social media, newspapers and radio report on the King’s activities.
The King of the Belgians is the Head of the Belgian army. He is assisted by the Head of the Military Household, who explains to the King the army’s missions in Belgium.
The Intendant of the Civil List is responsible for the finances and staff of the Royal Household. He manages all staff working at the King's service.
The Secretary to the Queen proposes, prepares and follows up the Queen’s audiences, visits and public engagements, and helps her answer the many letters she receives. He coordinates the work of the Ladies in Waiting of the Queen, who accompany her on her public engagements.
The Equerry takes care of the King's agenda and accompanies him on all his trips. King Philippe is always accompanied by bodyguards who remain very discreet.
The Royal Escort, are 120 horse riders (and therefore 120 horses) and tens of motorcyclists, who are part of the Federal Police. They accompany the King during official ceremonies.
A group of soldiers provides the Guard of Honour. It is an old tradition. These sentinels (the soldiers who guard the building) can be seen outside, in front of the Royal Palace.
Butlers also work at the Royal Palace. They welcome the guests. They are dressed in a long black jacket with a white bow tie and always wear white gloves.
A formal banquet or gala dinner is sometimes organised for more than 200 guests. Students from Belgium’s catering schools then come and give a hand to the team. A great opportunity for these students to learn their craft and serve their country.