By Bejay Browne
THE KING and Queen of Belgium are on a private visit to Paphos staying at the five-star luxury Anassa hotel near Latchi.
King Phillipe and Queen Mathilde arrived in Cyprus on Sunday aboard a Belgian Air Force Emprair 150 and were greeted at the airport by the Belgian ambassador to Cyprus, along with other diplomatic representatives.
A spokesman for the Belgian embassy said on Monday he was unable to comment on the couple’s stay in Paphos, as it was a private visit, only confirming that they were on the island.
The couple is staying at the aptly named Anassa – meaning Queen in Greek – renowned as one of the world’s most beautiful and exclusive five-star luxury spa hotels. Set close to the Akamas and overlooking turquoise waters, it is billed as the ultimate Mediterranean retreat.
Sources involved in the royal visit said: “The Anassa is the obvious and only choice for Royals to holiday in Cyprus. The standard of rooms and service is second to none.”
During their holiday the royal couple was expected to visit local archaeological sites and attractions as well soak up the surrounding countryside. They will also attend official contacts and a few ceremonial events.
King Phillipe, 54, ascended the throne on 21 July 2013 and is the eldest child of King Albert II, whom he succeeded upon his abdication for health reasons. He was educated at the Belgium Royal Military Academy, Trinity College Oxford and Stanford university.
The Belgium King married 41-year-old Queen Mathilde – Countess Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz – in 1999 and the couple have four children. King Philippe’s elder daughter, Princess Elisabeth, is next in line to the throne.