Sunshine helped the Chelsea Pensioners enjoy another memorable Founder's Day on the spectacular Royal Hospital Chelsea grounds.
His Majesty the King of the Belgians and his wife Queen Mathilde were welcomed this year to the heritage site to join the celebrations.
King Philippe was the day's Guest of Honour, invited to review the parade of Chelsea Pensioners.
After the 300 Chelsea Pensioners in their vibrant scarlet uniforms passed inspection, King Philippe delivered a speech reflecting on the shared history of the United Kingdom and Belgium, highlighting the deep ties between the nation's royal families.
He recalled his own lineage back to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, who married Princess Charlotte of Wales and was set to become Prince Consort of the United Kingdom in 1816.
The King of the Belgians also paid tribute to the "valiant British soldiers" who "came to our rescue during the First World War, so many of whom rest in peace in Flanders Fields".
'The blessings of peace'
King Philippe acknowledged those who are no longer with us, expressing eternal gratitude to those who liberated Belgium from the Nazis during the Second World War.
He had been scheduled to attend last year's event but was unable to, due to the war in Ukraine.
During his speech to the Chelsea Pensioners, their families and friends, he gave a "special thought" to the Ukrainian soldiers.
"In these turbulent times, I would also like to spare a special thought for the Ukrainian soldiers who are heroically defending their country, at the cost of their lives.
"I am proud that together, in the name of respect for international law, both our nations are part of a coalition to help them succeed."
He concluded his speech quoting William Gladstone: "We look forward to the time when the power of love will replace the love of power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace."
What is Founder's Day?
The Royal Hospital's veterans have gathered in the central quadrangle, Figure Court, nearly every year since 1692 to mark the foundation by King Charles II.
For the occasion, the statue of the King is embellished with oak leaves.
The guests and participants also wear a customary sprig of oak, to commemorate the monarch's escape from parliamentary forces.
It is said the King avoided capture by hiding in an oak tree.
The hospital was founded over 330 years ago by the King to provide a home for veterans "broken by age or war".