Who’s who of the Belgian Royal Family

Photo: Royal Palace/ Bas Bogaerts

The Belgian Royal Family was in the news quite a lot a few years ago with an abdication and paternity suit, so who is who of the Belgian Royal Family? We explain below:

King Philippe

Photo:Belgian Royal Palace/Frédéric Andrieu

Born on 15 April 1960, King Philippe is the first child of King Albert and Queen Paola. He has two younger siblings and one younger half-sibling. He was educated in French and Dutch language schools in Belgium before training at the Belgian Royal Military Academy. His university education was at Trinity College, Oxford in the UK and Stanford University in California. Philippe became the heir to the throne in 1993 after his uncle’s death. Philippe married Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz in 1999 and they have four children. He became the King of the Belgians on National Day on 21 July 2013 after the abdication of his father.

Queen Mathilde

Photo: Michel Gronemberger/Belgian Royal Palace

Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz was born on 20 January 1973 in Belgium to Count Patrick and Countess Anna. She was educated in Belgium and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in speech therapy before obtaining a master’s degree in psychology. She had her speech therapy practice until 1999 when she married the future King Philippe. They have four children: Princess Elisabeth, Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel and Princess Eleonore. Mathilde became the first Belgian Queen consort in Belgium’s history when her husband ascended the throne in 2013.

Princess Elisabeth

©Bas Bogaerts/Belgian Royal Palace

Princess Elisabeth was born on  25 October 2001 to the then Duke and Duchess of Brabant. She was educated in Belgium and at the United World College in Wales. Elisabeth became the heir to the throne and inherited the title of Duchess of Brabant upon her grandfather’s abdication in 2013. She underwent training at the Royal Military Academy in Belgium and received her bachelor’s degree in history and politics at Lincoln College, Oxford in 2024 and will study at Harvard in Boston for a master’s degree in public policy. Since coming of age, Elisabeth has been seen more in the public eye and undertaking royal engagements. That role will only increase once she has completed her education in the United States. If she ascends to the throne as expected, she will be Belgium’s first female reigning monarch.

Prince Gabriel

Photo: Royal Palace/Bas Bogaerts

Born on 20 August 2003, Prince Gabriel is the King and Queen’s second child. He was educated at St John Berchmans College and the International School of Brussels. He undertook a 1-year preparatory A-level course in math in England in 2021 and enrolled at the Royal Military Academy of Belgium in 2022. Gabriel is second in line to the Belgian throne.

Prince Emmanuel

©Bas Bogaerts/Belgian Royal Palace

As the third child of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, Emmanuel was born on 4 October 2005. He has been educated in Belgium at St John Berchmans College, Brussels and later at Eureka Special School to help with his dyslexia. He transferred to the English language International School of Brussels in 2020. He is expected to graduate from secondary school this year. Emmanuel is third in the line of succession.

Princess Eleonore

Bas Bogaerts/Royal Palace

Princess Eleonore was born on 6 April 2008 to then Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde as their youngest child. When she was five, her father became King of the Belgians. Eleonore first attended the Dutch language primary school Sint-Jan Berchmanscollege. A keen violinist, she now attends Heilig Hart College and lives in the Royal Palace of Laeken. Eleonore is fourth in the line of succession.

Princess Astrid

Photo: Convention’s Implementation Support Unit, ISU/CC/Flickr

As the second child of King Albert and Queen Paola, Princess Astrid was born on 5 June 1962. She married Archduke Lorenz of Austria-Este in 1984 and they have five children: Prince Amedeo, Princess Maria Laura, Prince Joachim, Princess Luisa Maria
and Princess Laetitia Maria. Astrid regularly undertakes official economic visits across the globe on behalf of her brother. She is fifth in the line of succession.

Prince Lorenz

Holger Motzkau 2010, Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons (cc-by-sa-3.0)

Prince Lorenz was born on 16 December 1955 in France to Robert, Archduke of Austria-Este and Archduchess Margaret. Lorenz is the grandchild of the last Emperor of Austria, Charles I. Lorenz inherited the title of Archduke of Austria-Este and head of the House of Austria-Este after his father died in 1996. Lorenz married Princess Astrid of Belgium in 1984 and gained the title of Prince of Belgium in 1995 after a royal decree by his father-in-law, King Albert. They have five children.

Prince Laurent

prince laurent belgium

By Joost Pauwels – Own work, CC0 via Wikimedia Commons

Prince Laurent was born to King Albert and Queen Paola on 19 October 1963 as their youngest child. He was educated in Belgium and attended the Royal Military Academy. He married British-born Claire Coombs in 2003. They have three children. Laurent is known to “beat to his own drum” and has been caught up in scandals and protocol blunders. He is 13th in the line of succession behind his siblings and their children.

Princess Claire

By Werktuigendagen Oudenaarde – https://www.flickr.com/photos/werktuigendagen/6187257179/, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Claire Louise Coombs was born in England on 18 January 1974 to a British father and Belgian mother. She has an older sister and younger brother and the family relocated to Belgium when she was three-years-old. Claire married Prince Laurent on 12 April 2003 and became a Princess of Belgium. They have three children, Princess Louise, Prince Nicolas and Prince Aymeric. Claire doesn’t have a defined role in the Royal Family and only undertakes the occasional royal duty.

Princess Delphine

By Luc Van Braekel – https://www.flickr.com/photos/lucvanbraekel/2407637011/, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Delphine Boël was born on 22 February 1968 as the child of Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps and King Albert. She was raised as the child of the Baroness and Jonkheer Jacques Boël. She studied in England and Switzerland and became an artist. She married American James O’Hare and has two children, Princess Josephine and Prince Oscar. By 2013, King Albert was no longer immune to prosecution and a paternity suit ensued. Delphine wanted to be acknowledged as Albert’s daughter (after he reportedly acknowledged her when she was a child but then began ignoring her). Albert was forced by the court to take a DNA test which proved he was the father of Delphine. She and her children were granted princely titles following a decision from the Belgian Court of Appeals, but as she was born from an extramarital affair, Delphine and her children are not in the line of succession.

King Albert

By Voka Kamer van Koophandel Limburg, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Albert was born on 6 June 1934 as the third child of King Leopold III and Queen Astrid. He spent time in France and Spain during World War II but returned to Belgium in 1940. He and his family were deported by the Germans to Germany and later Austria until they were released by the American military. Albert did not return to Belgium until 1950. He married Italian Paola Ruffo di Calabria in 1959 and had three children. He had a daughter, Delphine, through an extramarital affair. He became the King of the Belgians after the death of his brother, Baudouin, who died childless in 1993. Albert reigned as King of the Belgians until his abdication in 2013 for health reasons.

Queen Paola

By Prime Minister’s Office (GODL-India), GODL-India, Wikimedia Commons

Born Paola Ruffo di Calabria on 11 September 1937 in Italy, the future Queen of the Belgians is the seventh and youngest child of Fulco, the 6th Duke of Guardia Lombarda and Luisa Gazelli dei Conti di Rossana e di Sebastiano. She met the future King Albert in 1958 at the coronation of Pope John XXIII, and their engagement was announced the following year. They married in Brussels on 2 July 1959 and have three children, King Philippe, Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent. Paola became Queen of the Belgians upon her husband’s ascension to the throne in 1993. Albert abdicated in 2013, but she still undertakes the occasional royal duty.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox every month.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

About the Author

Brittani Barger
Brittani is from the United States and has been researching, writing and reporting on the royals for over a decade. Successfully gaining exclusives and interviews with royals across the globe, Brittani left her role as an editor for another news site to help bring you Royal News. She's been seen on BBC World, WION News and other news programs to discuss the royal families.

Be the first to comment on "Who’s who of the Belgian Royal Family"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.