Belgian royals visit Canada for first time in four decades

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium are set to begin the second day of their week-long state visit to Canada, the first Belgian state visit to Canada in over 40 years.

The visit began yesterday when they met with Governor General Julie Payette at Rideau Hall and planted a sugar maple on the grounds, visited a sugar bush and held various meetings on Parliament Hill.

The royals also placed a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial to honour Canadian soldiers who fought for the liberation of Belgium in two world wars.

Eyebrows were raised yesterday when someone attached two small flags to a tree planted by the then-Belgian queen in 1977 -- one flag was Canadian and the other was German.

A Rideau Hall official said the ``mix up'' was rectified before the royals arrived for the ceremony.

Today's events include a ceremony where the royals will loan a cannon from the First World War to the Canadian War Museum.

The Belgian monarchs will also visit Toronto and Montreal during their tour.