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Queen Mathilde of Belgium watches horse fishers in action

  • Royals watched shrimp fishing demonstration by the Order of the Horse Fishers 
  • Tradition of horse fishing dates back to the 15th century in Belgium
  • The King and Queen gamely waded into the water in their wellington boots  

She’s more often seen in vertiginous heels as she attends various official engagements in her capacity as Queen of Belgium.

But Queen Mathilde wisely donned her wellies for today’s event; a visit to Oostduinkerke to watch the country’s horse fishermen in action.

The 44-year-old Queen and her husband King Philippe gamely waded into the sea as the Orde van de Paardevissers – or Order of the Horse Fishers – trawl for shrimp in a centuries-old tradition. 

Queen Mathilde and King Philippe gamely waded into the ocean to watch the display 

They leaned in to get a closer look at the horse fishers haul at Oostduinkerke in Belgium

They leaned in to get a closer look at the horse fishers haul at Oostduinkerke in Belgium

Queen Mathilde, who was snapped crouching down with the King to get a closer look at the fishermen’s haul of shrimp, wore a sensible yet stylish belted trench over trousers. 

Putting practicality first, the mother of four also ensured her hair was pulled back from her face on an apparently windswept day in Belgium. 

Her husband King Philippe was similarly sensibly attired, wearing a khaki coat and wellies to match his wife’s pair. 

Back in the 15th Century, horse fishing was widely practised on North Sea coasts, but the antiquated tradition is now dying out.  

Queen Mathilde added a sensible yet stylish patterned trench to ward off the breeze 

Queen Mathilde added a sensible yet stylish patterned trench to ward off the breeze 

Her husband the King was also wrapped up against the September chill in an overcoat 

Her husband the King was also wrapped up against the September chill in an overcoat 

Horse fishing is a Belgian tradition that dates all the way back to the Fifteenth Century 

Horse fishing is a Belgian tradition that dates all the way back to the Fifteenth Century 

Dramatic photos from the event show the monarchs ankle-deep in the sea as fishermen thunder past on horseback in the background. 

The event on Tuesday was in stark contrast to Queen Mathilde’s recent whirlwind trip to Venice, where she took in the city’s famous Biennale clad top to toe in pink.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk