Prince Philippe, Duke of Brabant

Prince Philippe, Duke of Brabant

Prince Philippe, Duke of Brabant, Prince of Belgium ( _fr. Philippe Léopold Louis Marie, _nl. Filip(s) Leopold Lodewijk Maria) (born Château de Belvédère, nr Laeken, 15 April 1960), styled "His Royal Highness the Duke of Brabant", is the eldest son and heir apparent of Albert II, King of the Belgians. His godparents were his paternal grandfather, King Leopold III of the Belgians and his maternal grandmother Donna Luisa, Princess Ruffo di Calabria.

Biography

Prince Philippe was educated at the Belgian Royal Military School. From 1978 to 1981 he continued his education at Oxford University's Trinity College and finally attended Graduate School at Stanford University, California where he graduated in 1985 with an MA in Political Science.

He was appointed as a Second Lieutenant in 1980 and obtained his fighter pilot's wings and his certificates as a parachutist and a commando. In 1989, the Prince attended a series of special sessions at the Royal Higher Defence Institute. The same year, he was promoted to Colonel. On 25 March 2001, the Prince was appointed to the rank of Major-General in the Land Component and the Air Component and to the rank of Rear-Admiral in the Naval Component.

Prince Philippe married Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz, daughter of a Walloon Belgian noble family and female line descendant of Polish noble families such as the Princes Sapieha, on December 4 1999 in Brussels, and they have four children:

* Princess Elisabeth, born 25 October 2001
* Prince Gabriel, born 20 August 2003
* Prince Emmanuel, born 4 October 2005
* Princess Eléonore, born 16 April 2008

If Philippe assumes the throne, Princess Mathilde will become the first Belgian-born Queen Consort.

Owing to the amendment to the laws of succession (the Lex Salica, or Salic Law) from eldest son to eldest child, Princess Elisabeth is next in the line of succession after her father, followed by her younger brothers, Princes Gabriel and Emmanuel and her younger sister Princess Eléonore.

Recently, the Prince has been a target of criticism within Belgium for his political and social conservatism. During his bachelorhood, vocal detractors had called for him to step out of the line of succession and to allow a more liberal member of the royal family (though the identity of that liberal member wasn't revealed, it is likely to refer to his sister Astrid) to take his place.

For some years, Philippe, though second-in-line to the throne, was treated as the likely heir of his childless uncle, King Baudouin. As Baudouin and his wife, Queen Fabiola of Belgium, were unable to have children, they became very close to Philippe. However on Baudouin's premature death in 1993, Philippe's father, Albert, inherited the throne.

Titles

As differentiated from King Albert II's title, King "of the Belgians", Prince Philippe is called Prince "of Belgium", not Prince "of the Belgians", a title that does not exist. He is also Duke of Brabant, the traditional title of the heir apparent to the Belgian throne. This title precedes the title Prince of Belgium.

His style currently is: "His Royal Highness" Prince Philippe, Duke of Brabant, Prince of Belgium.

If Philippe succeeds to the throne, he will be known as either King Philippe I or, if he chooses, Leopold IV. Fact|date=May 2008

Ancestry

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boxstyle_5=background-color: #9fe;
1= 1. Philippe, Duke of Brabant
2= 2. Albert II of Belgium
3= 3. Princess Paola Ruffo di Calabria
4= 4. Leopold III of Belgium
5= 5. Princess Astrid of Sweden
6= 6. Fulco VIII Ruffo of Calabria
7= 7. Luisa Gazelli di Rossana e di Sebastiano
8= 8. Albert I of Belgium
9= 9. Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria
10= 10. Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland
11= 11. Princess Ingeborg of Denmark
12= 12. Fulco VII Beniamino Tristano Ruffo of Calabria
13= 13. Laura Mosselmann du Chenoy
14= 14. Augusto Gazelli, Count Rossana e San Sebastiano
15= 15. Countess Maria Cristina Rignon
16= 16. Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders
17= 17. Princess Marie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
18= 18. Karl-Theodor, Duke in Bavaria
19= 19. Infanta Maria Josepha of Portugal
20= 20. Oscar II of Sweden
21= 21. Princess Sofia of Nassau
22= 22. Frederick VIII of Denmark
23= 23. Princess Lovisa of Sweden
24= 24. Fulco VI Ruffo of Calabria
25= 25. Eleonora Galletti di San Cataldo
26= 26. Théodore Mosselman du Chenoy
27= 27. Isabelle Coghen
28= 28. Calisto Gazelli di Rossana
29= 29. Francesca Cotti di Ceres
30= 30. Félix, comte Rignon
31= 31. Luisa Perrone di San Martino

ee also

*List of Succession to the Belgian Throne
*Prince Philippe Fund

External links

* [http://pages.prodigy.net/ptheroff/gotha/belgium.html Royal House of Belgium]
* [http://pages.prodigy.net/ptheroff/gotha/sapieha.html Princely House of Sapieha] (female ancestors of Crown Princess Mathilde)
* [http://www.fonds-prince-philippe.org/ Fonds Prince Philippe] (in French, Dutch and German)

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