Friday, June 6, 2014

Royal Profile: 47 Facts about King Albert II of Belgium

  1. King Albert II was born 6 June 1934{Source}. 
  2. He was the second son of King Leopold III & Queen Astrid {Source}. 
  3. He was the stepson of Lillian, Princesse de Réthy.
  4. He was the paternal grandson of King Albert I of The Belgians and Queen Elisabeth of Belgium.
  5. He was the maternal grandson of Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland, and Princess Ingeborg of Denmark.
  6. He was the nephew of:
    1. Princess Margaretha of Sweden (1899–1977).
    2. Princess Märtha of Sweden, later Crown Princess of Norway (1901–1954).
    3. Prince Carl Bernadotte, known as Carl Jr., later Prince Bernadotte, a Belgian title (1911–2003)
    4. Charles-Théodore Henri Antoine Meinrad, Count of Flanders, Prince of Belgium, Regent of Belgium (1903-1983)
    5. Princess Marie José of Belgium (1906-2001)
  7. His first cousins consist of:
    1. Prince George Valdemar Karl Axel of Denmark (1920–1986)
    2. Prince Flemming Valdemar Carl Axel of Denmark (1922–2002)
    3. Princess Ragnhild of Norway, Mrs. Lorentzen (1930-2012)
      Princess Astrid of Norway, Mrs. Ferner (1932-)
    4. Princess Maria Pia Louise of Savoy (1934-)
    5. King Harald V of Norway (1937-)
    6. Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples (1937-)
    7. Princess Maria Gabriella of Savoy (1940-)
    8. Princess Maria Beatrice Caroline of Savoy (1943-)
  8. He is distantly related to the houses of Sweden, Norway, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Italy, and Austria.
  9. He holds honors from:
    1. Belgium
    2. Afganistan
    3. Austria-Hungary
    4. Bolivia
    5. Chile 
    6. Columbia 
    7. Cuba
    8. Czechoslovakia
    9. Ecuador
    10. Egypt
    11. Ethiopia
    12. France
    13. Italy
    14. Japan
    15. Latvia
    16. Luxembourg
    17. Monaco
    18. Morocco
    19. The Netherlands
    20. Norway
    21. Persia
    22. Poland
    23. Portugal
    24. Prussia
    25. Romania
    26. Russia
    27. Serbia
    28. Spain
      • Sweden
      • United Kingdom
      • United States
      • Venezuela
      • Malta
    29. He was 15 months old when his mother died in a car accident in Switzerland{Source}.
    30. His godparents were Felix of Bourbon-Parma and his maternal grandmother, Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians.
    31. His father remarried in secret in September 1941, thus his youngest siblings not having succession rights.
    32. He had two full siblings, and three half siblings:
      1. Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium (1927-2005, she would later become Grand Duchess of Luxembourg by marriage)
      2. King Baudin I of The Belgians (1930-1993)
      3. Prince Alexander of Belgium (1942-2009, half sibling)
      4. Princess Marie-Christine of Belgium (1951, half-sibling)
      5. Princess Marie-Esméralda of Belgium (1956, half-sibling)
    33. He is godfather to his youngest half-sister, Princess Marie-Esméralda of Belgium.
    34. He is uncle to the following:
      1. Princess Marie Astrid of Luxembourg (1954, daughter of his sister Princess Joséphine-Charlotte, later known as Archduchess Marie-Astrid of Austria)
      2. Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg (1955, son of his sister Princess Joséphine-Charlotte)
      3. Prince Jean of Luxembourg(1957, son of his sister Princess Joséphine-Charlotte)
      4. Princess Margaretha of Luxembourg, Princess of Liechtenstein (1957, daughter of his sister Princess Joséphine-Charlotte)
      5. Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg (1963, son of his sister Princess Joséphine-Charlotte)
      6. Miss Alexandra Leopoldine Moncada (1998, daughter of Princess Marie-Esméralda of Belgium)
      7. Master Leopoldo Daniel Moncada (2001, son of Princess Marie-Esméralda of Belgium) 
    35. He is a great uncle to the following:
      1. Prince Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke (1981)
      2. Archduchess Marie Christine Anne Astrid Zita Charlotte of Austria, Countess of Limburg-Stirum (1983)
      3. Prince Félix of Luxembourg (1984)
      4. Prince Leopold of Liechtenstein (1984-1984)
      5. Princess Maria-Anunciata of Liechtenstein (1985)
      6. Archduke Imre Emanuel Simeon Jean Carl Marcus d'Aviano of Austria (1985)
      7. Princess Marie-Gabrielle of Nassau (1986)
      8. Prince Louis of Luxembourg (1986)
      9. Princess Marie-Astrid of Liechtenstein (1987)
      10. Prince Constantin of Nassau (1988)
      11. Archduke Christoph Henri Alexander Maria Marcus d'Aviano of Austria (1988)
      12. Prince Josef-Emanuel of Liechtenstein (1989)
      13. Archduke Alexander Hector Marie Karl Leopold Marcus d'Aviano of Austria (1990).
      14. Prince Wenceslas of Nassau (1990)
      15. Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg (1991)
      16. Prince Sébastien of Luxembourg (1992)
      17. Prince Carl-Johan of Nassau (1992)
      18. Archduchess Gabriella Maria Pilar Yolande Joséphine Charlotte of Austria (1994)
      19. Prince Paul Louis Jean Marie Guillaume of Nassau (1998)
      20. Prince Léopold Guillaume Marie Joseph of Nassau (2000)
      21. Princess Charlotte Wilhelmine Maria da Gloria of Nassau (2000).
      22. Prince Jean André Guillaume Marie Gabriel Marc d'Aviano of Nassau (2004)
    36. He is a great-Great uncle to the following:
      1. Prince Noah de Nassau (2006)
      2. Prince Gabriel de Nassu (2007)
      3. Count Léopold Menno Philippe Gabriel François-Xavier Marie Joseph Ghislain de Limburg-Stirum (2011).
      4. Count Constantin de Limburg-Stirum (2013)
      5. Archduchess Maria-Stella Elizabeth Christiana Yolande Alberta of Austria (2013)
      6. Prince/Princess XYZ of Luxembourg (child of Prince Felix of Luxembourg, due anytime now)
    37. When he was six years old, Belgium was being invaded, so he and his siblings were evacuated to France and later to Spain {Source}.
    38. The royal siblings returned to their home country at the end of the summer for a few years, before being evacuated to Germany and later Austria until May 1945 {Source}. 
    39. The Belgian Royal Family left Austria in October 1945 for Switzerland, where the young Prince continued his education until 1950 {Source}. 
    40. He returned with his father and brother to Belgium in July 1950 {Source}.
    41. He met his wife, Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria, at the Belgian Embassy in Rome after witnessing the coronation of Pope John XXIII, during their first meeting he fell in love with her instantly, and proposed {Source}
    42. He is the only Prince of Liege to date (he was given it by King Albert I, but Albert II decided in 2002 to not give out courtesy titles and only the Duke/Duchess of Brabant for the heir) {Source}
    43. On 2 July 1959, Prince Albert married Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria{Source}. 
    44. He shares an anniversary with Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco, who married on the same day in 2011.
    45. Together, they would have three children, two sons and a daughter {Source}, as well as several grandchildren{Source}:
      1. King Philippe, Duke of Brabant (1960) 
      2. Princess Astrid, Archduchess of Austria-Este (1962)
      3. Prince Laurent (1963)
    46. Their grandchildren include:
      1. Princess Elisabeth (2001)
      2. Prince Gaberiel (2003)
      3. Prince Emmanuel (2005)
      4. Princess Eléonore (2008)
      5. Prince Amedeo (1986)
      6. Princess Maria Laura (1988)
      7. Prince Joachim (1991)
      8. Princess Luisa Maria (1995)
      9. Princess Laetia Maria (2003)
      10. Princess Louise (2004)
      11. Prince Nicolas (2005)
      12. Prince Aymeric (2005)
    47. Through his wife, he is the brother-in-law of:
      1. Donna Maria Cristina Ruffo di Calabria (1920–2003)
      2. Laura Ruffo di Calabria (1921–1972)
      3. Fabrizio, Prince Ruffo di Calabria-Santapau (1922–2005)
      4. Augusto Ruffo di Calabria (1925–1943)
      5. Giovannella Ruffo di Calabria (1927–1941).
      6. Antonello Ruffo di Calabria (born 1930)
      7. Also through his wife, he is uncle to:
        1. Countess Emanuela Rossi di Montelera (1963)
        2. Antonella San Martino d'Agliè
    48. Also through his wife, he is great uncle to:
      1. Lidia Rossi di Montelera (1963)
      2. Maria Cristina Rossi di Montelera (1965)
      3. Ginevra Rossi di Montelera (1967)
      4. Antonella Rossi di Montelera (1970)
      5. Maria Cristina Rossi di Montelera
    49. In 1962, he was asked to become the Honorary President of the Board of Directors of the Belgian Foreign Trade Office, a position which he held until 1992 {Source}. 
    50. In 1984, a fund named for him was set up to assist in training foreign trade specialists {Source}. 
    51. From 1954-1992, he was President of the Caisse Générale d'Epargne et de Retraite {Source}.
    52. Moreover, Prince Albert also assumed the Presidency of the Board of the from 1954 to 1992. 
    53. He was President of the Belgian Red Cross from 1958 to 1993.
    54. Apart from these various functions, Prince Albert carried out actions in the field of town planning, housing, nature conservation, listed monuments and sites, and in general, management of the environment. 
    55. In this context, he has presided or attended many international conferences. 
    56. In 1969, he was invited by the Council of Europe to assume the Presidency of the European Ministerial Conference on the protection of the cultural and architectural heritage.
    57. After the death of his brother, King Baudouin, Prince Albert was sworn in before the combined chambers of parliament on 9 August 1993 as the sixth King of the Belgians.
    58. On 3 July 2013, King Albert II attended a midday session of the Belgian cabinet. 
    59. He then announced that on 21 July, he would abdicate the throne for health reasons.
    60. He was the second Belgian King to abdicate, the first was his father.
    61. It has been rumored for many years that he fathered an illegitimate child,  Delphine Boël, a situation which he denies. I discussed this situation last July when the controversy re-surfaced in the public.
    62. He had an affair with Delphine’s mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, wanted to divorce Paola and go to the UK to live with Sybille and Delphine but it was impossible since Baudouin had no heirs and Philippe was too young at the time to be King if something happened {Source}
    63. The former King speaks French (fluent), Flemish (although not as well as he should), English and a little German. 
    64. He shares a birthday with Archduchess Ildikó Mária Walburga von Hasburg.
    65. He is Doctor Honoris Causa of the Catholic University of Leuven, the Saint Louis University, Baguio City, Ghent University, Free University of Brussels, the Catholic university of Mons and the Polytechnic Faculty of Mons.
    66. He was the Speaker at the College of Europe Opening Ceremony in 1969

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