Sunday, April 15, 2012

Royal Profile: HRH Prince Philippe, the Duke of Brabant

Prince Philippe Léopold Louis Marie of Belgium, The Duke of Brabant was born 15 April 1960, the eldest son (thus heir-apparent to) of Albert II, King of the Belgians and Queen Paola. His godparents were King Leopold III of the Belgians, and  Donna Luisa, Princess Ruffo di Calabria.

He attended both French and Dutch primary and secondary schools before attending Royal Military Academy from which he graduated in 1981, upon graduation, he qualified as fighter pilot (1982) and as a paratrooper- and commando officer before assuming command over a paratrooper platoon. The Prince's military career further led him to his current rank of Lieutenant-General and Vice Admiral in the Armed Forces (as from March 2010).

He continued his academic career at Trinity College, University of Oxford (UK) and at the Graduate School of Stanford University (USA) where he obtained a Master of Arts degree in political science in 1985. He also has an honorary doctorate from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, which was conferred in 2002.

Due to his increased engagements in the early 1990s, he was given his own household in 1992. on 6 August 1993, the Government appointed Prince Phillippe Honorary Chairman of the Belgian Foreign Trade Board, succeeding his father who had held the position since 1962. In June 1994, he was appointed a member of the senate. In May 1997, Prince Philippe was appointed Honorary Chairman of the Belgian Federal Council for Sustainable Development, created after the Conference of Rio. In 1998 the Prince Philippe Fund was created, with the aim of fostering exchanges between citizens or organisations from all three Communities of our country.On 3 May 2003, Prince Philippe was appointed Honorary Chairman of the Board of the Foreign Trade Agency replacing the BFTB.In 2003, Prince Philippe became Honorary Chairman of BIO (Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries). Since 2004, Prince Philippe is also Honorary Chairman of the European Chapter of the Club of Rome and of the International Polar Foundation. In May 2004, Prince Philippe obtained his licence as a civilian helicopter pilot.

In his personal life, he spends his leisure moments with his family, reading, and playing sports. He married Miss Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz on 4 December 1999. Together, they have four children, two daughters and two sons:
  1. Princess Elisabeth (24 October 2001)
  2. Prince Gabriel (20 August 2003)
  3. Prince Emmanuel (4 October 2005)
  4. Princess Eléonore (16 April 2008)

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