Philippe of Belgium facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsPhilippe
King Philippe in 2021
|King of the Belgians|
|Reign||21 July 2013 – present|
|Prime Ministers||Elio Di Rupo
Alexander De Croo
15 April 1960 |
Belvédère Castle, Laeken, Brussels, Kingdom of Belgium
Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz
|Father||Albert II of Belgium|
|Mother||Paola Ruffo di Calabria|
Philippe or Filip (Dutch: Filip Leopold Lodewijk Maria [ˈfilɪp ˈleːjoːpɔlt ˈloːdəʋɛik maːˈrijaː]; French: Philippe Léopold Louis Marie [filip leɔpɔld lwi maʁi]; born 15 April 1960) is King of the Belgians. He is the eldest child of King Albert II and Queen Paola. He succeeded his father upon the latter's abdication for health reasons on 21 July 2013. He married Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz in 1999, with whom he has four children. Their eldest child, Princess Elisabeth, is first in the line of succession.
Philippe was born on 15 April 1960 at the Belvédère Castle in Laeken north of Brussels. 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 the 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.
Philippe 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.
Albert and Paola's marriage was unhappy, and they were usually absent from Philippe's life. The child neglect was so severe that child psychologist Peter Adriaenssenssocial workers.described it as justifying intervention by
The King has a half-sibling, Princess Delphine of Belgium (born 1968).
As a child the future king was required to transfer from a French-language school, where he was purportedly happy, to a secondary school in Flanders, where he found it difficult to make friends. “In my youth, I had many problems at school” Philippe told a group of teenage dropouts in 2019. “I felt badly treated. It was not easy for me”.
From 1978 to 1981, Philippe was educated at the Belgian Royal Military Academy in the 118th "Promotion Toutes Armes" (Promotion All Weapons). On 26 September 1980, he was appointed second lieutenant and took the officer's oath.
Philippe 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.
On 25 March 2001, Philippe 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 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. They have four children:
- Princess Elisabeth,
- Prince Gabriel,
- Prince Emmanuel, and
- Princess Eléonore.
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, he 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.
Philippe played a role in forming a coalition government after the 2014 Belgian federal election. Political meetings with the King were moved from the Palace of Laeken to the Royal Palace of Brussels. In May 2019, Philippe met with Vlaams Belang President Tom Van Grieken, the first time the party had received a royal audience.
In 2020, Philippe announced regret for the "acts of violence and cruelty" committed in Belgian Congo.
Honours and arms
|Grand Master of the Order of Leopold||21 July 2013|
|Grand Master of the Order of the African Star||21 July 2013|
|Grand Master of the Royal Order of the Lion||21 July 2013|
|Grand Master of the Order of the Crown||21 July 2013|
|Grand Master of the Order of Leopold II||21 July 2013|
|Argentina||Grand Cross of the Order of the Liberator General San Martín||6 May 1994|
|Austria||Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria||21 March 2022|
|Bolivia||Grand Cross of the Order of the Condor of the Andes||9 September 1996|
|Denmark||Knight of the Order of the Elephant||28 May 2002|
|Finland||Grand Cross of the Order of the White Rose||30 March 2004|
|France||Grand Cross of the Order of the Legion of Honour||6 February 2014|
|Germany||Grand Cross Special Class of the Order of Merit of Germany||6 March 2016|
|Greece||Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer||2 May 2022|
|Greece||Grand Cross of the Order of Honour||1 February 2005|
|Hungary||Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary||18 April 2008|
|Italy||Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic||25 October 2021|
|Japan||Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum||9 October 2016|
|Jordan||Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of al-Hussein bin Ali||18 May 2016|
|Lithuania||Golden Chain of the Order of Vytautas the Great||24 October 2022|
|Luxembourg||Knight of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau||15 March 1999|
|Netherlands||Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion||28 November 2016|
|Netherlands||Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau||6 May 1993|
|Netherlands||Recipient of the King Willem-Alexander Inauguration Medal||30 April 2013|
|Norway||Grand Cross of the Order of St. Olav||20 May 2003|
|Oman||Member of the Order of Oman||3 February 2022|
|Poland||Knight of the Order of the White Eagle||13 October 2015|
|Poland||Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland||18 October 2004|
|Portugal||Grand Cross of the Order of Christ||18 October 2005|
|Portugal||Grand Cross of the Order of Aviz||18 September 1997|
|Portugal||Grand Collar of the Order of Prince Henry||22 October 2018|
|Spain||Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic||16 May 2000|
|Sweden||Knight of the Royal Order of the Seraphim||7 May 2001|
|Sweden||Recipient of the 50th Birthday Badge Medal of King Carl XVI Gustaf||30 April 1996|
|Sweden||Recipient of the 70th Birthday Badge Medal of King Carl XVI Gustaf||30 April 2016|
|Turkey||Member of the Order of the State of Republic of Turkey||4 October 2015|
|Vatican City||Knight of the Collar of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre||17 November 2015|
Philippe of Belgium Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.