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.. Black Friday Sale!  In May 2019, Philippe met with Vlaams Belang President Tom Van Grieken, the first time the party had received a royal audience. He received his early education in both Flemish and French, after which he attended the Royal Military Academy and studied abroad at Trinity College, Oxford, and at Stanford University, where he earned a master’s degree (1985) in political science. He married Jonkvrouw Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz in 1999, with whom he has four children. King Albert II announced on 3 July 2013 that he would abdicate in favour of Philippe on 21 July 2013. 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. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Philippe-king-of-Belgium, The Belgian Monarchy - The Royal Family - Biography of King Philippe. In 2013 Albert announced his intention to abdicate because of failing health, and on July 21, 2013, Philippe was crowned king of the Belgians. Philippe of Belgium is the seventh and current King of the Belgians. He obtained his fighter pilot's wings and his certificates as a parachutist and a commando. Premium Membership is now 50% off! Corrections? Luisa Gazelli dei Conti di Rossana e di Sebastiano, This page was last edited on 25 November 2020, at 22:34.  They have four children: On 6 August 1993, the government named Philippe as honorary chairman of the Belgian Foreign Trade Board (BFTB). On 26 September 1980, he was appointed second lieutenant and took the officer's oath.. He married Jonkvrouw Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz in 1999, with whom he has four children. On 3 May 2003, Philippe was appointed honorary chairman of the board of the Foreign Trade Agency, replacing the BFTB.. King Philippe's elder daughter, Princess Elisabeth, is first in the line of succession. , In 2020 Philippe announced regret for the "acts of violence and cruelty" committed in Belgian Congo. Mathilde proved to be wildly popular with the Belgian public, and her ability to speak both French and Flemish (as well as English and Italian) bridged the political and cultural differences that separated the regions of Wallonia and Flanders. 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. From 1993 he also served as chairman of the National (now Federal) Council for Sustainable Development. Updates? King Philippe and Queen Mathilde's eldest child, Princess Elisabeth, is first in the line of succession. The same year, he was promoted to colonel. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). His daughter, Princess Elisabeth, was named duchess of Brabant as the heir to the throne. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. 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 is the eldest son of King Albert II of Belgium and Paola Ruffo di Calabria. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Belgian royal family members (from left) Prince Philippe, Queen Paola, King Albert II, and Princess Mathilde, 2008. King Philippe of Belgium (French: Philippe Léopold Louis Marie, Dutch: Filip(s) Leopold Lodewijk Maria; born 15 April 1960), is the King of the Belgians, having ascended the throne on 21 July 2013, following his father's abdication. In 1989, he attended a series of special sessions at the Royal Higher Defence Institute. 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. He is the eldest son of King Albert II and Queen Paola and the grandson of King Leopold III and Queen Astrid. Philippe was the first of three children of Albert II, who became Belgium’s sixth king in 1993. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. He is the eldest child of King Albert II and Queen Paola. , From 1978 to 1981, Philippe was educated at the Belgian Royal Military Academy in the 118th "Promotion Toutes Armes". Although the two had been a couple for several years, both their relationship and the details of their first meeting were kept from the press.  Approximately one hour after King Albert II's abdication, Prince Philippe was sworn in as King of the Belgians. Their wedding on December 4, 1999, united the country and drew comparisons to the storybook wedding of Britain’s Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. Philippe, king of Belgium, in full Philippe Léopold Louis Marie, (born April 15, 1960, Brussels, Belgium), king of the Belgians from 2013. In 1993 King Baudouin died in Spain, Albert became the new king, and Philippe became the new heir apparent, titled Duke of Brabant. Philippe, king of Belgium, in full Philippe Léopold Louis Marie, (born April 15, 1960, Brussels, Belgium), king of the Belgians from 2013. His godparents were his paternal grandfather, King Leopold III, and his maternal grandmother, Donna Luisa, Princess Ruffo di Calabria.  His eldest child, Princess Elisabeth became his heir apparent and is expected to become Belgium's first queen regnant. He trained as a pilot and paratrooper and ultimately held the rank of lieutenant general in both the Belgian army and air force and of vice admiral in the Belgian navy. Philippe or Filip is King of the Belgians, having ascended the throne on 21 July 2013, following his father's abdication. Philippe married Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz, daughter of a Walloon count of a 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 and Saint Gudule in Brussels. He was born at the Belvédère Castle in Laeken north of Brussels. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde's eldest child, Princess Elisabeth, is first in the line of succession. He succeeded his father, who had been honorary chairman of the BFTB since 1962. Philippe was appointed honorary chairman of the Belgian Foreign Trade Board in 1993 and in that capacity conducted numerous visits abroad. 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. Belgium's King Philippe finally met with his once-secret half-sister, Delphine de Saxe-Cobourg, after years of royal denials surrounding the princess' paternity. Philippe and his wife, Mathilde, waving to well-wishers in Liège, Belgium, 2013. 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.
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