Princess Claire of Belgium (born Claire Louise Coombs in Bath, England, on 18 January 1974) is a land surveyor married to Prince Laurent and the sister-in-law of King Philippe of Belgium.
She is the daughter of Nicholas John Coombs (Bath, 14 April 1938), a British-born businessman, and his Belgian wife (Uccle, 9 April 1971), Nicole Eva Gabrielle Thérèse, née Mertens (Ixelles, 20 June 1951). Her family relocated to Dion-le-Val, near to Brussels in francophone Wallonia in 1977. She has therefore lived in Belgium since age 3.
Unlike her two sisters-in-law, Mathilde and Astrid, Claire has no defined official role.
She occasionally appears in public accompanying her husband, generally in support of environmental causes or animal charities. She is also a leading patron of the Brussels Choral Society, which sang at the religious part of her marriage ceremony. She is also active in organisations related to the United Kingdom in Belgium. She is a member of the Board of Trustees at the British School of Brussels and actively attends charitable and commemorative events hosted by the British Ambassador to Belgium.
Titles and styles
18 January 1974 - 12 April 2003:Miss Claire Louise Coombs
12 April 2003 - present:Her Royal Highness Princess Claire of Belgium
Claire Coombs received the title Princess of Belgium from the King ten days before her marriage, by Royal Decree of 1 April 2003 (effective as of the date of the wedding, on 12 April 2003).
Prince Laurent does not hold a personal title such as Count of Flanders or Prince of Liège, as Belgium's cadet princes were formerly granted, so she has no other title as his consort.
Belgium: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold I
Netherlands: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown
Norway: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Merit
Portugal: Grand Cross of the Order of Infante Henry