monarchy

A Princess Is Making an Official Visit to Boston This Week

Break out the Belgian chocolate and waffles!

This Sept. 10, 2016, file photo shows Princess Astrid of Belgium during a medal ceremony at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games
Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images, File

Don't be surprised if you spot a woman in a crown in Boston this week — there's European royalty in town.

Belgium's Princess Astrid is representing her brother, King Philippe, on a visit to Boston Thursday and Friday.

She'll be at the Statehouse Thursday afternoon for an official welcoming ceremony with Gov. Charlie Baker. She'll meet with him and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, and will be discussing Belgium's and Massachusetts' offshore wind and biopharmaceutical efforts, according to her official schedule.

Astrid has been on a tour of the U.S. — she's coming from Atlanta and New York — and heads back to Belgium over the weekend, her office said.

Belgium is a constitutional monarchy; the king or queen is the chief of state, a symbolic role, while the prime minister runs the government. The Belgian monarchy dates to 1831; among Astrid's public roles within it is as a colonel in the Belgian Armed Forces' medical unit.

There was no indication ahead of her visit whether Astrid would be presenting Baker with any of the country's famous chocolates or waffles.

President Joe Biden will travel to Brussels, Belgium, for a NATO summit on Ukraine next week.
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