King Philippe of Belgium
Philippe in Antwerp, 2013
|King of the Belgians|
|Reign||21 July 2013 – present|
|Prime Ministers||Elio Di Rupo
|Born||(1960-04-15) 15 April 1960
Belvédère Castle, Laeken, Brussels, Belgium
|Spouse||Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz (m. 1999)|
|House||Saxe-Coburg and Gotha|
|Father||Albert II of Belgium|
|Mother||Paola Ruffo di Calabria|
Belgian royal family
|HM King Albert II
HM Queen Paola
Philippe (French pronunciation: [filip], French: Philippe Léopold Louis Marie, Dutch: Filip Leopold Lodewijk Maria, German: Philipp Leopold Ludwig Maria; born 15 April 1960) is the seventh King of the Belgians, having ascended the throne on 21 July 2013, following his father’s abdication. He is the eldest child of King Albert II, whom he succeeded upon Albert’s abdication for health reasons, and Queen Paola. He married Countess Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz (now Queen Mathilde), with whom he has four children. King Philippe’s elder daughter, Princess Elisabeth, is first in the line of succession.
Philippe was born on 15 April 1960 during the reign of his uncle, King Baudouin of Belgium. His father, Prince Albert, Prince of Liège (later King Albert II) was the second son of King Leopold III of Belgium and a younger brother of Baudouin. His mother, Paola, Princess of Liège (later Queen Paola), is a daughter of Italian aristocrat Fulco VIII, Prince Ruffo di Calabria, 6th Duke of Guardia Lombarda. His mother descends from the French House of La Fayette, and the king is a descendant of Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette and Marie Adrienne Françoise de Noailles.
He was born at the Belvédère Castle in Laeken north of Brussels. He was baptised one month later at the church of Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg in Brussels on 17 May, and named Philippe after his great-great-grandfather Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders. His godparents were his paternal grandfather, King Leopold III, and his maternal grandmother, Donna Luisa, Princess Ruffo di Calabria.
From 1978 to 1981, Philippe was educated at the Belgian Royal Military Academy in the 118th “Promotion Toutes Armes”. On 26 September 1980, he was appointed second lieutenant and took the officer’s oath.
He continued his education at Trinity College, Oxford and he attended graduate school at Stanford University, California, where he graduated in 1985 with an MA degree in political science. He obtained his fighter pilot’s wings and his certificates as a parachutist and a commando. In 1989, he attended a series of special sessions at the Royal Higher Defence Institute. The same year, he was promoted to Colonel.
In 1990 he received the Grand cordon of the Order of Leopold, gift of his uncle King Baudouin. In 1993 his uncle died in Spain, and he became the new Duke of Brabant.
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.
Philippe married Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz, daughter of a Walloon Count of Belgian noble family and female line descendant of Polish noble families such as the Princes Sapieha and Counts Komorowski, on 4 December 1999 in Brussels, in a civil ceremony at the Brussels Town Hall and a religious ceremony at the Cathedral of Saint Michel in Brussels. They have four children:
- Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant, born 25 October 2001
- Prince Gabriel, born 20 August 2003
- Prince Emmanuel, born 4 October 2005
- Princess Eléonore, born 16 April 2008
On 6 August 1993, the government named Philippe as Honorary Chairman of the Belgian Foreign Trade Board (BFTB). He succeeded his father, who had been Honorary Chairman of the BFTB since 1962. On 3 May 2003, Philippe was appointed Honorary chairman of the board of the Foreign Trade Agency, replacing the BFTB.
In this capacity, Philippe has headed more than 60 economic missions. Upon his accession as seventh King of the Belgians, this role was taken over by his sister Princess Astrid.
King Albert II announced on 3 July 2013 that he would abdicate in favour of Philippe on 21 July 2013. Approximately one hour after King Albert II’s abdication, Prince Philippe was sworn in as King of the Belgians. His eldest child, Princess Elisabeth became his heir apparent and is expected to become Belgium’s first queen regnant.
- 26 September 1980 – 21 March 1983:
- Belgian Air Force, Second lieutenant.
- Belgian Army, Second lieutenant.
- January – end March 1983: Platoon leader, 15th Comp., 3rd Parachutists Battalion of the Paracommando Regt
- 21 March 1983 – 1 December 1989:
- Belgian Air Force, Captain.
- Belgian Army, Captain.
- 1 December 1989 – 5 April 2001:
- Belgian Air Force, Colonel
- Belgian Army, Colonel.
- 5 April 2001 – 25 March 2010:
- Belgian Air Component (Belgian Air Force before 2002), General-major
- Belgian Land Component (Belgian Army before 2002), General-major
- Belgian Marine Component (Naval Force before 2002), Divisional admiral
- Since 15 March 2010:
- Belgian Air Component, Lieutenant-general
- Belgian Land Component, Lieutenant-general
- Belgian Marine Component, Vice admiral.
- Since 21 July 2013 (Oath as King):
- Belgian Air Component, General
- Belgian Land Component, General
- Belgian Marine Component, Admiral.
|Royal Military Acad.||Pilot Wings||Parachutist badge||Commando badge|
|123rd TAW (1978–1981)||9 July 1982||28 October 1982||17 December 1982|
Titles, styles, honours and arms
- 15 April 1960 – 9 August 1993: His Royal Highness Prince Philippe of Belgium
- 9 August 1993 – 21 July 2013: His Royal Highness The Duke of Brabant
- 21 July 2013 – present: His Majesty The King of the Belgians
- Order of Leopold:
- 1990-2013: : Grand Cordon, by Royal Order of King Baudouin. 
- 2013-: Grand Master.
- Grand Master of the Order of the African Star
- Grand Master of the Royal Order of the Lion
- Grand Master of the Order of the Crown
- Grand Master of the Order of Leopold II
- Protector of the Royal Academy.
- Argentina: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Liberator General San Martín
- Austrian Imperial and Royal Family: Knight with Collar of the Imperial and Royal Order of the Golden Fleece
- Bolivia: Grand Cross of the Order of the Condor of the Andes
- Denmark: Knight of the Order of the Elephant
- Finland: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the White Rose
- Germany: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Special Class
- Greece: Grand Cross of the Order of Honour
- Hungary: Grand Cross with Chain of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary
- Vatican: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre
- Sovereign Military Order of Malta: Knight Grand Cross of Justice of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Special Class
- Japan: Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum
- Jordan: Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of al-Hussein bin Ali
- Luxembourg: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau
- Recipient of the King Willem-Alexander Inauguration Medal
- Norway: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of St. Olav
- Grand Cross Order of the White Eagle
- Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland
- Grand Cross of the Order of Christ
- Grand Cross of the Order of Aviz
- Spain: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic
- Knight of the Royal Order of the Seraphim
- Recipient of the 50th Birthday Badge Medal of King Carl XVI Gustaf
- Recipient of the 70th Birthday Badge Medal of King Carl XVI Gustaf
- Turkey: Member of the Decoration of the State of Republic of Turkey, 1st Class
- International Military Sports Council: Grand Cross of the International Military Sports Council Order of Merit[32
This Section A Summary About The King
His Majesty the King was born in Brussels on 15 April 1960. He is the eldest son of King Albert II and Queen Paola and the grandson of King Leopold III and Queen Astrid.
Following the abdication of his father, King Albert, Prince Philippe was sworn in before the combined chambers of parliament on 21 July 2013 as the seventh King of the Belgians.
He married Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz in 1999.
The King was educated bilingually (in Dutch and French) at Belgian state primary and secondary schools, and then at the Belgian Royal Military Academy, a bilingual higher education establishment. Inspired by a passion for flying and space adventure since childhood, he chose to join the Air Force, where he qualified as a fighter pilot. He completed his military training with the para-commando course.
He then left Belgium to continue his academic studies abroad. After one term at Trinity College, Oxford (United Kingdom), he spent two years at Stanford University in the USA, where he graduated with an MA in Political Science.
Returning to Belgium in 1985, he began to learn about his country’s political, social and economic realities. Over the next eight years he got to know Belgium and its people through numerous visits, meetings, conferences and missions. This gave him a thorough understanding of the country and its workings.
Also during this time, the young Prince Philippe acquired an in-depth knowledge of areas of particular personal interest, such as history, literature and philosophy. His study tours enabled him to meet all kinds of committed people, both leaders and ordinary citizens. He also closely followed the European integration process. In addition, he gained various experiences in the humanitarian field.
The death of King Baudouin in 1993 marked a turning point in the Prince’s life. Following the accession of his father King Albert II, Philippe became heir apparent to the throne at the age of 33.
From this time on, his public role became established. In line with the major issues of the time, his main areas of involvement were international missions to promote the Belgian economy and Belgium’s image abroad, sustainable development, dialogue between Belgium’s various communities, support for vulnerable people and the nurturing of talent. Prince Philippe engaged in close dialogue with politicians, granting them audiences and working alongside them on missions and other activities.
Prince Philippe took over the Honorary Presidency of the Belgian Foreign Trade Agency (BFTA) in 1993. In this capacity, he led 85 economic missions abroad over the next 20 years. He built bridges between Belgian and foreign companies as well as between Belgian companies. Following his accession to the throne in 2013, he has remained Honorary Chairman of the BFTA but has asked his sister Princess Astrid to represent him on economic missions.
Another of King Philippe’s primary concerns is sustainable development. From 1993 to 2013, he was Honorary Chairman of the Federal Council for Sustainable Development, which brings together economic, social, environmental and scientific bodies from around the country to formulate recommendations to the federal government. In the same vein, he also agreed to become Honorary Chairman of the International Polar Foundation.
He has been active in supporting dialogue between Belgium’s three language communities of French-, Dutch- and German-speakers. The Prince Philippe Fund was set up in 1998 to promote dialogue between citizens from the different communities, in order to foster greater mutual recognition and respect for their individual identities and cultures.
Aware of the many possible forms of marginalisation, the King takes every opportunity to meet with its victims. Here too, he experiences human frailty at first hand, whether it is caused by illness, social exclusion, accidents or natural disasters.
The King supports Belgian talent in all its manifestations, including sportsmen and women, artists, scientists, explorers and gifted young people, and follows them all with great interest.
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde combine their family life with ceremonial and official duties. They personally supervise the education of their four children, Elisabeth, Gabriel, Emmanuel and Eléonore. The children enjoy a multilingual upbringing and attend school in Dutch.
Holidays are spent with family and friends. In their free time, the King and Queen enjoy reading and playing sport. The King goes running regularly and took part in the Brussels 20km race in May 2013 and 2014.
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Taken From https://www.monarchie.be/en/royal-family/the-king and Wikipedia