Philippe of Belgium

King of the Belgians
Reign 21 July 2013 – present
Predecessor Albert II
Heir apparent Elisabeth
Prime Ministers
Born (1960-04-15) 15 April 1960
Belvédère Castle, Brussels, Belgium
Spouse Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz (m. 1999)
Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant
Prince Gabriel
Prince Emmanuel
Princess Eléonore
Full name
Dutch: Filip Leopold Lodewijk Maria
French: Philippe Léopold Louis Marie
German: Philipp Leopold Ludwig Maria
House Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Father Albert II of Belgium
Mother Paola Ruffo di Calabria
Religion Roman Catholicism

Philippe or Filip[1] (French: Philippe Léopold Louis Marie, Dutch: Filip(s) Leopold Lodewijk Maria, German: Philipp Leopold Ludwig Maria, English: Philip Leopold Lewis Marie; born 15 April 1960) is the 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 next in the line of succession.

Early life

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 descendants 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,[2] 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.[3]


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.[4]

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.[4]

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. 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.[4]


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:

Foreign trade

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.[5]

In this capacity, Philippe has headed more than 60 economic missions.[6][7] Upon his accession as seventh King of the Belgians, this role was taken over by his sister Princess Astrid.


King Philippe and Queen Mathilde wave to the crowds in Brussels after Philippe's swearing in as new Belgian monarch.

King Albert II announced on 3 July 2013 that he would abdicate in favour of Philippe on 21 July 2013.[8] Approximately one hour after King Albert II's abdication, Prince Philippe was sworn in as King of the Belgians.[9] His eldest child, Princess Elisabeth became his heir apparent and is expected to become Belgium's first queen regnant.

Military ranks

Philippe in 2008 as an Air Force major-general.
Royal Military Acad.[15] Pilot Wings[15] Parachutist badge[14] Commando badge[15][16]
123rd TAW (1978–1981) 9 July 1982 28 October 1982 17 December 1982
1980 1983 1989 2001 2010 2013

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Coat of arms of the King of the Belgians


Personal Standard of Philippe, King of the Belgians

National honours

Foreign honours



See also


  1. In languages of Belgium, the pronunciations are in French ([fiˈlip]) and Dutch ([ˈfilɪp]).
  2. J.M. (8 May 2001). "Le baptême en l'église royale...". (in French). Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  3. "Prince Philippe : la ligne du temps d'une vie passée devant les caméras". (in French). Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 "The Belgian Monarchy". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  5. "The Belgian Monarchy". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  6. Agence pour le Commerce extérieur, Missions antérieures
  7. "Official Royal Website Archives". Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  8. Price, Matthew (3 July 2013). "Belgium's King Albert II announces abdication". BBC News. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  9. "Belgium's King Albert II gives up throne to son". CNN. 21 July 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  10. Official 3Para page (French) evoking Prince Philippe
  11. 1 2 Prince Philippe promoted, portrait
  12. Photo of Philippe as a Captain (3 stars) in the 3Para Battalion
  13. Prince Philippe gets married in his uniform of Colonel of the Belgian Air Force
  14. 1 2 Photo of Prince Philippe as a General-major showing his parachutist badge
  15. 1 2 3 21 July 2012, photo showing the commando badge, the blue wing of the parachutist badge under the ribbon of the Order of Leopold, the pilot wing, the omega sign of Royal Academy "Promotion toutes armes"
  16. Photo showing the commando badge
  22. Philippe wearing sash of the order of the crown
  23. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Senate, biography of senators including Prince Philippe, senator by right
  26. "Finnish President Visit To Belgium – Day One Pictures – Getty Images". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  29. Official Royal Website, State visit in Belgium of H.E. Mr Laszlo SÓLYOM, President of the Republic of Hungary. (15–17 April 2008, Group photo
  30. Belga Pictures, Philippe
  31. Order of the Holy Sepulchre, Belgian Lieutenancy's Official website, article evoking the decoration
  32. "The Belgian King Albert II (L) and Queen Paola (2ndL) and their eldest son, crown Prince Philippe of Belgium (C) are welcomed by Japanese Empress Michiko and Emperor Akihito, at the Imperial Palace... Pictures – Getty Images". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  33. "Nuevo duelo de reinas: una Rania muy demodé no puede con una Matilde sublime. Noticias de Casas Reales". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  35. "Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembou Pictures – Getty Images". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  39. "2006.06.20____.jpg (image)". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  40. "Norwegian Royals Make State Visit To Belgium Pictures – Getty Images". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  41. "Long Live all the magic we made.". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  43. Official Belgian royal website, State visit in Belgium of H.E. Mr Aleksander Kwasniewski, President of the Republic of Poland & Mrs Jolanta Kwasniewska, Gala dinner, group photo
  44. 1 2, Philippe wearing Portuguese honours
  45. BOE: nom. 115, pg. 17721. Real Decreto 775/2000. 13 May 2000.
  47. "The Belgian Monarchy". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  50. "King Philippe of Belgium presents Order of Leopold to President Erdogan". Presidency of the Republic of Turkey. 5 October 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  51. "Prince Philippe receives an international sportive prize". Retrieved 22 July 2013.
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Philippe of Belgium
Born: 15 April 1960
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Albert II
King of the Belgians
Heir apparent:
Belgian royalty
Title last held by
Duke of Brabant
Succeeded by
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