His Majesty King Albert II (Albert Félix Humbert Théodore Christian Eugène Marie Wettin), styled HM The King (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:
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. They have five children:
- Archduke Amadeo of Austria-Este, Prince of Belgium
- Archduchess Maria Laura of Austria-Este, Princess of Belgium
- Archduke Joachim of Austra-Este, Prince of Belgium
- Archduchess Louisa Maria of Austria-Este, Princess of Belgium
- Archduchess Laeticia Maria of Austria-Este, Princess of Belgium
King Albert also has an acknowledged illegitimate daughter, Delphine Boel (born 1968), by his affair with a Belgian aristocrat, Baroness Sybille de Sélys Longchamps (ex-Madame Jacques Boel ). Boel, a sculptor living in London, has a daughter named Josephine by her American boyfriend.
Albert II was sworn into office on August 9, 1993 nine days after the death of his brother, King Baudouin.
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 Succession to the Belgian Throne
Official Belgian monarchy web site
Last updated: 08-02-2005 16:41:37
Last updated: 08-26-2005 18:57:07