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Philippe of Belgium

Seventh king of the Belgians
The basics
Occupation Politician Officer
Country Belgium
Date of birth Laeken
Mother: Queen Paola of Belgium
Father: Albert II
Spouse: Queen Mathilde of Belgium
Children: Princess Elisabeth of Belgium Prince Gabriel of Belgium Prince Emmanuel of Belgium Princess Eléonore of Belgium
Education Royal Military Academy, Stanford University, Trinity College
Authority VIAF id
The details

Philippe or Filip (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, 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.


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.

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 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.


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

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:

  • Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant, born 25 October 2001
  • Prince Gabriel, born 20 August 2003
  • Prince Emmanuel, born 4 October 2005
  • Princess Eléonore, born 16 April 2008

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.

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.

Military ranks

Philippe in 2008 as an Air Force major-general.
  • 26 September 1980 – 21 March 1983:
    • Belgium Belgian Air Force, Second lieutenant.
    • Coats of arms of Belgium Military Forces.svg Belgian Army, Second lieutenant.
  • January – end March 1983: Platoon leader, 15th Comp., 3rd Parachutists Battalion of the Paracommando Regt
  • 21 March 1983 – 1 December 1989:
    • Belgium Belgian Air Force, Captain.
    • Coats of arms of Belgium Military Forces.svg Belgian Army, Captain.
  • 1 December 1989 – 5 April 2001:
    • Belgium Belgian Air Force, Colonel
    • Coats of arms of Belgium Military Forces.svg Belgian Army, Colonel.
  • 5 April 2001 – 25 March 2010:
    • Belgium Belgian Air Component (Belgian Air Force before 2002), General-major
    • Coats of arms of Belgium Military Forces.svg Belgian Land Component (Belgian Army before 2002), General-major
    • Belgium Belgian Marine Component (Naval Force before 2002), Divisional admiral
  • Since 15 March 2010:
    • Belgium Belgian Air Component, Lieutenant-general
    • Coats of arms of Belgium Military Forces.svg Belgian Land Component, Lieutenant-general
    • Belgium Belgian Marine Component, Vice admiral.
  • Since 21 July 2013 (Oath as King):
    • Belgium Belgian Air Component, General
    • Coats of arms of Belgium Military Forces.svg Belgian Land Component, General
    • Belgium Belgian Marine Component, Admiral.
Erm ecusson.jpg Omega - Ecole Royale Militaire (Belgique) - Promotion toutes armes.svg Aile COA-3-coul-20x7-300dpi.jpg Brevet Para be.jpg Brevet Cdo be.jpg
Royal Military Acad. Pilot Wings Parachutist badge Commando badge
123rd TAW (1978–1981) 9 July 1982 28 October 1982 17 December 1982
BE-Air Force-OF1b.svg Army-BEL-OF-01b.svg BE-Air Force-OF2b.svg Army-BEL-OF-02b.svg BE-Air Force-OF5.svg Army-BEL-OF-05.svg BE-Air Force-OF7.svg Army-BEL-OF-07.svg Generic-Navy-O9.svg BE-Air Force-OF8.svg Army-BEL-OF-08.svg Generic-Navy-O10.svg BE-Air Force-OF9.svg Army-BEL-OF-09.svg Generic-Navy-O11.svg
1980 1983 1989 2001 2010 2013

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Coat of arms of the King of the Belgians
  • 15 April 1960 – 9 August 1993: His Royal Highness Prince Philippe of Belgium
  • 9 August 1993 – 21 July 2013: His Royal Highness The Duke of Brabant
  • 21 July 2013 – present: His Majesty The King of the Belgians


Personal Standard of Philippe, King of the Belgians

National honours

  •  Belgium:
    • Sovereign Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold
    • Sovereign Knight of the Order of the African Star
    • Sovereign Knight of the Royal Order of the Lion
    • Sovereign Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown
    • Sovereign Knight of the Order of Leopold II

Foreign honours

  •  Argentina: Grand Cross of the Order of the Liberator General San Martín
  • Austria-Hungary Austrian Imperial and Royal Family: Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece
  •  Bolivia: Grand Cross of the Order of the Condor of the Andes
  •  Denmark: Knight of the Order of the Elephant
  •  Finland: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the White Rose of Finland
  •  Germany: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Special Class
  •  Greece: Grand Cross of the Order of Honour
  •  Hungary: Grand Cross with Chain of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary
  •   Vatican: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre
  •  Sovereign Military Order of Malta: Knight Grand Cross of Justice of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, 1st Class
  •  Japan: Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum
  •  Jordan: Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of al-Hussein bin Ali
  •  Luxembourg: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau
  •  Netherlands:
    • Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion, 2016.
    • Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau
    • Recipient of the King Willem-Alexander Inauguration Medal
  •  Norway: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of St. Olav
  •  Poland: Grand Cross Order of the White Eagle
  •  Poland: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland
  •  Portugal:
    • Grand Cross of the Order of Christ
    • Grand Cross of the Order of Aviz
  •  Spain: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic
  •  Sweden:
    • Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Seraphim
    • Recipient of the 70th Birthday Badge Medal of King Carl XVI Gustaf
  •  Turkey: Member of the Decoration of the State of Republic of Turkey, 1st Class



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