Sunday, January 20, 2013

Royal Profile: Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Duchess of Brabant

Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Duchess of Brabant was born 20 January 1973, the daughter of Count Patrick d'Udekem d"Acoz & his wife Countess Anna Maria d'Udekem d'Acoz.

She attended primary schools in Bastogne, Belgium before attending Institut de la Vierge Fidèle. She also attended Institut Libre Marie Haps in the early 1990s to become a speech therapist. She began to practice speech therapy in the mid 1990s after graduating while studying for a master's degree in psychology, a degree in which she received in 2002.

The future Belgian consort has had a special interest in working with vulnerable people, especially children. In December 2000, she created the Princess Mathilde Fund, which funds projects with the aim at making a difference in the lives of vulnerable people. She also serves as patron to several organizations which deal with the issues and concerns of vulnerable people. She also is an advocate for education, women's rights and projects that fight illiteracy. In May 2002, she was a member of the Belgian delegation at the UN Conference on Children in New York. Since 2009, Princess Mathilde has been the Honorary President of Unicef Belgium. She has headed humanitary missions to Niger, and Mali. The future Belgian consort serves as a UNICEF and UNAIDS special representative for their world campaign for orphans and other vulnerable children affected or infected by HIV/AIDS. In this capacity, Princess Mathilde visited projects in Tanzania China and Senegal.Princess Mathilde accepted to become a UN emissary for the International Year of Microcredit 2005 and visited in that capacity projects in China, Mali, India and Washington/USA. In 2007, the Princess became a member of the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum. She has accompanied her husband on missions abroad to promote Belgian interests.

As for the future Queen's leisure activities, she enjoys music, playing the piano, playing tennis, swimming, and reading. She speaks several languages, including the official languages of Belgium, Dutch and French, as well as English, Italian and some Spanish.

She married the future monarch of Belgium on 4 December 1999, in which she became HRH Princess of Belgium, Duchess of Brabant. Together they have four children:

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