Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel is seeking treatment for hearing damage he sustained when, of all things, he stood too close to Princess Astrid as she fired a starter’s pistol for runners in the Brussels 20-kilometer road race Sunday.
Although the pain seemed to register instantly on Michel’s face in a photo taken by a journalist, Michel seemed to shrug off the incident. By Monday, though, he was seeking treatment for ringing in his ears and his Tuesday schedule was cleared.
“The prime minister must follow a number of treatments within 48 hours after the incident,” his spokesman, Barend Leyts, told reporters (via the Guardian), and he is expected to have more treatment during the week.
Princess Astrid is the youngest sister of King Philippe, and neither she nor the royal family has commented on the accident.
The accident comes less than a week after President Trump bent Michel’s ear over the difficulties of establishing golf clubs in European Union countries and the divine nature of Belgian chocolates.