Burger King Has Pissed Off Belgium King

King Philippe and Queen Matilda of Belgium. Photo via Getty Images.
King Philippe and Queen Matilda of Belgium. Photo via Getty Images.

Burger King, the American fast food chain, has managed to offend King Philippe, the monarch of Belgium. Really.

You see, as Reuters reports, Burger King will soon expand its operations to Belgium and is promoting this move with a large ad campaign in the country. And they apparently decided it would be funny to riff on the country’s monarchy:

The animated advert, noting that King Philippe was crowned in 2013, announces the brand’s launch in Belgium this month and asks: “Two Kings. One crown. Who will rule? Vote now ... “

Anyone clicking to vote for the 57-year-old monarch then faces a series of questions such as: “Are you sure ... ? He won’t cook you fries.”


A fair point, however, one the royal family apparently does not appreciate. An actual, literal palace spokesperson told Reuters that, “We told them that we were not happy with them using an image of the king in their campaign,” and explained the king’s image is not supposed to be deployed for commercial purposes.

“We are deliberating on how to proceed,” said a spokesperson for Burger Brands Belgium. “Should we make a change to our campaign we would communicate that.”

Perhaps the most comical possible coda to the long-dead notion of the divine right of kings.

Senior Editor, Attic Haunter, Jezebel

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It’s not like Philippe is super popular, especially not in Flanders! But that is probably exactly why there is such a strong response from the royal family themselves. With little support of the Flemish majority, and a country that is at real risk of falling apart, they are not in a strong position.

I wonder how this exact same ad campaign would go down in Britain, with Queen Elizabeth, or in Holland, with king Willem-Alexander. Both far more popular royals.

I reckon it would not go down well, but the royals themselves would not have to get involved. Public outrage would do the job for them.