Albert II of Belgium
King of the Belgians
Albert II (Albert Félix Humbert Théodore Christian Eugène Marie) (born June 6, 1934), is the reigning King of the Belgians. He is the younger son of King Leopold III (1901 - 1983) and his first wife, Princess Astrid of Sweden (1905 - 1935).
Prince Albert was sent to the exclusive Swiss private school, Institute Le Rosey for his pre-university education. He succeeded his elder brother Baudouin as King of the Belgians, taking the constitutional oath on August 9, 1993. Before his accession he was known as Prince of Liège.
He married, on July 2, 1959, Donna Paola Margherita Maria Antonia Consiglia dei Principi (of the Princes) Ruffo di Calabria (born 1937), daughter of Principe Don Fulco Ruffo di Calabria, Duca di Guardia Lombarda and his wife, Donna Luisa Gazelli.
He and the Queen have three children:
- Philippe Leopold Louis Marie, Duke of Brabant (born April 15, 1960). He married Jonkvrouwe Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz, daughter of Jonkheer (now Count) Patrick d'Udekem d'Acoz and his wife, Countess Anna Maria Komorowska. They have two children, Princess Elisabeth, who will inherit the throne after her father, thanks to a 1991 alteration of the law of succession from eldest surviving child to eldest surviving son, and Prince Gabriel Baudouin Charles Marie.
- Astrid Josephine Charlotte Fabrizia Elisabeth Paola Marie (born June 5, 1962). She is the wife of Archduke Lorenz of Austria-Este, who was created a Prince of Belgium in 1995.
- Laurent Benoït Baudouin Marie (born October 19, 1963). He is married to Claire Coombs, an Anglo-Belgian real-estate agent.
In 2001, the Belgian Government threatened legal action against the French publishing company Flammarion for publishing a book by the Luxembourg-based investigative journalist Jean Nicolas, entitled Paedophile Dossier - the Scandal of the Dutroux Case, which suggested that during the 1970s and 1980s Albert had attended parties at which child abuse had taken place. The palace condemned what it saw as "grotesque accusations"; the author said that he made no accusations, but had just published legal documents.
|List of Belgian monarchs||
(Albert II is the reigning monarch)