Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Royal Profile: King Philippe of Belgium

King Philippe Léopold Louis Marie of Belgium was born on 15 April 1960, as first child of HM King Albert II and Queen Paola {Source}.

At the end of secondary school, which he attended both in French and in Dutch, the Prince continued his education at the Royal Military Academy from which he graduated in 1981 {Source}. He then subsequently qualified as fighter pilot (1982) and as a paratrooper- and commando officer before assuming command over a paratrooper platoon {Source}. The Prince's military career further led him to his current rank of Lieutenant-General and Vice Admiral in the Armed Forces (as from 2010)  {Source}.Prince Philippe completed his academic training at Trinity College, University of Oxford (UK) and at the Graduate School of Stanford University (USA) where he took a “Master of Arts Degree” in political science in 1985 {Source}. The King holds an Honorary Doctorate of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (conferred in 2002) {Source}.

When his royal duties began to increase, the government created the "Household of Prince Phillippe" in 1992  {Source}. In May 1997, Prince Philippe was appointed Honorary Chairman of the Belgian Federal Council for Sustainable Development, created after the Conference of Rio {Source}. 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. {Source}.In 2003, Prince Philippe became Honorary Chairman of BIO (Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries) {Source}.Since 2004, Prince Philippe is also Honorary Chairman of the European Chapter of the Club of Rome and of the International Polar Foundation {Source}.In May 2004, Prince Philippe obtained his licence as a civilian helicopter pilot  {Source}. On August 6, 1993, by Government decision, Prince Philippe was appointed Honorary Chairman of the Belgian Foreign Trade Board (BFTB), which was replaced in 2003 by the Foreign Trade Agency (FTA). He succeeded to his father, who had been Honorary Chairman of the BFTB since 1962 {Source}. King Philippe has headed about seventy important economic missions, of which the most recent are India, Brazil, Ukraine and Kazakhstan (2010), Russia, the United States of America, China and Chili (2011), Vietnam, japan , Turkey, Australia and New-Zeeland (2012), Thailand and the United States of Amerika (2013) {Source}.On June 21, 1994 he became a member of the Senate. {Source}. 

On the 4th of December 1999, the Prince married Miss Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz {Source}. Together, they have four children {Source}:
  • Princess Elisabeth, The Duchess of Brabant (2001)
  • Prince Gabriel (2003)
  • Prince Emmanuel (2005)
  •  Princess Eléonore (2008)

The King is keenly interested in the situation of young people and their integration in the society of tomorrow {Source}. He therefore visits schools and universities, but also follows closely various social issues such as unemployment and the struggle against poverty and exclusion  {Source}.

He spends his rare leisure moments at home with his family and also likes to read, especially on subjects related to the problems and challenges confronting men and women in today's society  {Source}. He practices sports regularly and is keen to maintain a healthy physical condition {Source}.

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