“We rectified the situation immediately, prior to their majesties’ arrival at the tree planting.”
Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders was unfazed by the flag faux-pas.
“They are the same colours so maybe that’s the reason why, and we have very close relations with Germany so it’s not a real problem,” he told the CBC’s Terry Milewski on Power & Politics.
But Dehandschutter said the Belgians are taking the trip to Canada very seriously. King Philippe and his wife, Queen Mathilde, are being accompanied by seven ministers, 100 business leaders and representatives from Belgium’s universities, he said.
‘It’s a big mistake’3:33
“The German flag, it [will] make the headlines in Belgium newspapers and in websites, so people are talking about it,” he said.
“It’s a strange story. Why do you confuse the German flag with the Belgium flag? Theoretically, it’s a big mistake by the Canadians.”
The royal couple today planted their own sugar maple tree at Rideau Hall and placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial.
On Tuesday they’re scheduled to attend a ceremony where, in honour of the conclusion of centennial commemorations marking the end of the First World War, a cannon used during that war will be handed over to the Canadian War Museum.
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium sample freshly-made maple syrup taffy at Richelieu Park Sugar Shack during a state visit to Ottawa on Monday, March 12, 2018. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)