In normal times, on 21 July, a large number of guests would be invited to a reception at the Ambassador’s Residence in Belgrave Square. However, like last year, Covid-19 has not made it possible to celebrate Belgium’s National Day in the usual manner. We decided we couldn’t just let the day pass and came up with the idea of creating a Belgian dessert with a British twist that people can make and enjoy to celebrate our National Day at home. Keep an eye on the embassy’s FB page to find out how the idea came about!
Living in neighbouring countries with close historical ties, the people of the United Kingdom and Belgium have shared over the past decennia many moments of good fortune and happiness, but occasionally also moments of adversity and misfortune. The shared prosperity generated by close economic ties that go back centuries in time is a case in point, as is the strong solidarity demonstrated at both sides of the Channel during times of upheaval. The many commemorations we both continue to celebrate remain to this day a powerful testimony of these bonds in times of prosperity and adversity.
Over the course of last year, it had become clear that the former TLS Contact Visa Application Centre did not meet modern day standards any more. An alternative location for a more suited and modern VAC was found at the Ram Quarter, a new urban development project that converted an old industrial site (the Young’s brewery) in Wandsworth into a residential & shopping zone. Planning and building works on the new VAC started in 2019 and continued all through 2020, delayed of course by the outbreak of the still ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Do you need a new passport in the coming months and do you wish to have your biometric data taken in Edinburgh during a visit from the Flying Kit? On 25 and 26 March 2020, the Flying Kit will be at the Belgian honorary consulate: 2 West Street, Penicuik EH26 9DL.
Dr Lise Uytterhoeven is Senior Lecturer and Head of Learning and Teaching at London Studio Centre. In September, she was appointed to the role of Director of Dance Studies for London Contemporary Dance School at The Place, a position she will take up as from January next year.
Shortly before the 85th annual Belgian military parade on 13th July, two Belgian warships arrived via the river Thames in London. The Belgian frigate BNS Louise-Marie and the Belgian minehunter BNS Lobelia moored alongside HMS Belfast, the former British Royal Navy Town-class light cruiser, on the Thames to celebrate the Britain-Belgium defense relationship. We had the opportunity to ask the commanders of the vessels a few questions.