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Philippe I succeeds Albert II as king of Belgium

July 24th, 2013

belgian king

  • On 21st July 2013 Phillipe-I became Belgium’s 7th monarch after his father King Albert II abdicated in his favour.
  • 53 year old Phillipe-I took the oath at Belgian Parliament in Belgium’s three official languages – Dutch, French and German.
  • He is the eldest child of King Albert II.
  • It is to be noted that on 3rd July 2013 King Albert II announced that he would abdicate in favour of Philippe on 21st July 2013.
  • 79-year-old Albert II gave up his throne over concerns about his advanced age.
  • King Albert II became only the second Monarch in Belgian history to abdicate.
  • Before him King Leopold III abdicated the Belgian throne in 1951 in favour of his son, who became King Baudouin.
  • But Albert II is the first Belgian king to voluntarily step down in the 182-year history of its monarchy.
  • Also, he is the fourth monarch to abdicate in 2013, following Pope Benedict XVI, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, and Emir Hamad bin Khalifa of Qatar.
  • It is to be noted that Albert II was sworn in as Belgium’s sixth king in 1993, succeeding his brother Baudouin who died at the age of 62.
  • King Albert will continue to be known as King even after abdication according to Belgian news sources, meaning Belgium is the only country in the world with two living Kings.
  • It is to be noted that Belgium is currently undergoing an uneasy situation of being drifted apart between the northern Flemings and the southern Francophones.

Monarchy of Belgium

  • Belgium was recognised as an independent country in 1830 but the monarchy was established in 1831.
  • Leopold I, prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, took the constitutional oath on 21st July 1831 to become the first King of the Belgians.
  • As a hereditary constitutional monarchy system, the role and operation of Belgium’s monarchy is governed by the Constitution.
  • The proper title of the Belgian monarch is King of the Belgians rather than King of Belgium.
  • This title convention is mean to show that the Monarch of Belgium has a personal/close connection to the people of Belgium rather than just the territory of Belgium.
  • Belgium introduced absolute primogeniture in 1991, meaning the eldest child of the Sovereign becomes Monarch, regardless of gender.
  • The heir apparent to the Belgian throne after Prince Philippe succeeds will be the 12-year-old daughter of Philippe, Princess Elisabeth, who will become Duchess of Brabant.

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