Albert II of Belgium

Albert II of Belgium

Albert II (French: "Albert Félix Humbert Théodore Christian Eugène Marie", Dutch: "Albert Felix Humbert Theodoor Christiaan Eugène Marie", German: "Albert Felix Humbert Theodor Christian Eugen Maria") (born Château de Stuyvenberg, Brussels, 6 June, 1934) is the current King of the Belgians and a constitutional monarch. He is a member of the royal house "of Belgium"; formerly this house was named Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. He is the younger son of King Leopold III (1901-1983) and his first wife, Princess Astrid of Sweden (1905-1935). His godparents were Prince Felix of Luxembourg and his paternal grandmother, Queen Elisabeth of Belgium.


Prince Albert was sent to the Swiss private school Institut Le Rosey for his pre-university education. He succeeded his elder brother, Baudouin I, as king, taking the constitutional oath on August 9, 1993, becoming the oldest king in Belgian history to ascend to the throne (at age 59). Before his accession he was known as the Prince of Liège, a title created for him the day after his birth; he had been heir presumptive to the Belgian throne since 1951. He also served in the Belgian Navy between 1953 and 1958.

Marriage and family

He married, in Brussels, on 2 July, 1959, Princess Donna Paola Margherita Maria Antonia Consiglia Ruffo di Calabria (born 1937). She is the daughter of Principe Don Fulco Ruffo di Calabria, Duca di Guardia Lombarda and his wife, Countess Luisa Gazelli di Rossana e di Sebastiano (1896-1989).

He and the Queen have three children:
* Philippe Léopold Louis Marie, Duke of Brabant (born April 15, 1960). He married, on December 4, 1999, Jonkvrouwe Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz, who was created HRH Princess Mathilde of Belgium a day before their marriage. She is a daughter of Baron (now Count) Patrick d'Udekem d'Acoz and his wife, Countess Anna Maria Komorowska. They have four children:
** Princess Elisabeth Thérèse Marie Hélène, who will inherit the throne after her father, in accordance with the 1991 Act of Succession, which created full cognatic primogeniture, better known as succession by strict birth order without regard to gender.
** Prince Gabriel Baudouin Charles Marie
** Prince Emmanuel Leopold Guillaume François Marie
** Princess Eléonore Fabiola Victoria Anne Marie
* Astrid Joséphine Charlotte Fabrizia Elisabeth Paola Marie (born June 5, 1962). She is the wife of His Imperial and Royal Highness Archduke Lorenz of Austria-Este, Archduke of Austria, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia, whom she married in 1984 and who was created a Prince of Belgium in 1995. Princess Astrid, with her own descendants, is before her brother Laurent in the order of succession to the Belgian throne, in accordance with the 1991 Act of Succession mentioned above. They have five children:
**Archduke Amedeo of Austria-Este, Prince of Belgium
**Archduchess Maria Laura of Austria-Este, Princess of Belgium
**Archduke Joachim of Austria-Este, Prince of Belgium
**Archduchess Luisa-Maria of Austria-Este, Princess of Belgium
**Archduchess Laetitia-Maria of Austria-Este, Princess of Belgium
* Laurent Benoît Baudouin Marie (born October 19, 1963). He married Claire Coombs, an Anglo-Belgian former real-estate agent, on April 12, 2003. She was created HRH Princess Claire of Belgium 11 days before their marriage. They have one daughter and two sons:
** Princess Louise of Belgium
** Prince Nicolas of Belgium
** Prince Aymeric of Belgium

The Belgian press considers, without formal proof, that The King also has an illegitimate daughter, Delphine Boël (born 1968). Her mother is a Belgian aristocrat, Sybille, Baroness de Selys Longchamps (ex-Madame Jacques Boël). Boël, a sculptor living in Brussels, has 2 children by her American companion, Jim O'Hare.


*"His Royal Highness" Albert, Prince of Liège, Prince of Belgium (1934-1993) a.k.a. H.R.H The Prince of Liège
*"His Majesty" Albert II, King of the Belgians, Prince of Belgium (Since 1993)


Patrilineal descent

Albert's patriline is the line from which he is descended father to son.

Patrilineal descent is the principle behind membership in royal houses, as it can be traced back through the generations - which means that if Albert II were to choose an historically accurate house name it would be Wettin, as all his male-line ancestors have been of that house.House of Wettin
#Thimo of Wettin, Count of Brehna
#Conrad, Margrave of Meissen, maternal grandson of Otto of Nordheim, 1098 - 1157
#Otto II, Margrave of Meissen, 1125 - 1190
#Dietrich I, Margrave of Meissen, 1162 - 1221
#Henry III, Margrave of Meissen, c. 1215 - 1288
#Albert II, Margrave of Meissen, 1240 - 1314
#Frederick I, Margrave of Meissen, 1257 - 1323
#Frederick II, Margrave of Meissen, 1310 - 1349
#Frederick III, Landgrave of Thuringia, 1332 - 1381
#Frederick I, Elector of Saxony, 1370 - 1428
#Frederick II, Elector of Saxony, 1412 - 1464
#Ernest, Elector of Saxony, 1441 - 1486
#John, Elector of Saxony, 1468 - 1532
#John Frederick I, Elector of Saxony, 1503 - 1554
#Johann Wilhelm, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, 1530 - 1573
#John II, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, 1570 - 1605
#Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha, 1601 - 1675
#John Ernest IV, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, 1658 - 1729
#Francis Josias, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, 1697 - 1764
#Ernest Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, 1724 - 1800
#Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, 1750 - 1806
#Leopold I of Belgium, 1790 - 1865
#Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders, 1837 - 1905
#Albert I of Belgium, 1875 - 1934
#Leopold III of Belgium, 1901 - 1983
#Albert II of Belgium, 1934 -

ee also

*Kings of Belgium family tree


Belgian coinage

* In Belgium, it is common that the effigy of the ruling King is minted in the coins for circulation. As a general rule, this does not happen for the commemorative and collectors' coins. However, some very high value coins have been minted with the effigy of the King in one side, such as the commemorative 100 euro gold coin minted in 2003.

ee also

* List of Succession to the Belgian Throne
* Crown Council of Belgium
* Royal Trust
* Prince Albert Fund
* Michel Didisheim, former private secretary
* Jacques van Ypersele de Strihou (private secretary)
* Frank De Coninck, (former) Marshal of the Royal Household

External links

* [ Royal House of Belgium]
* [ Princely House of Ruffo]
* [ Official Belgian monarchy web site]
* [ The Royal Belgium Orders]


NAME = Albert II of Belgium
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Belgian monarch
DATE OF BIRTH = June 6, 1934
PLACE OF BIRTH = Laeken, Belgium

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