Friday, September 11, 2015

Royal Profile: Queen Paola of Belgium

Queen Paola of Belgium was born 11 September 1937 as Paola,Princess Ruffo di Calabriaand the youngest of seven children of Prince Fulco Ruffo di Calabria and Countess Luisa Gazelli {Source}. She grew up in Rome, Italy, and completed her secondary education in Latin and Greek{Source}.

On 2 July 1959, she wed Prince Albert de Liège{Source}. Together, they have two sons and a daughter, as well as 6 granddaughters, and five grandsons, and now a granddaughter-in-law {Source}:
  1. King Philippe of the Belgians
    1. Queen Mathilde of Belgium 
      1. Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant 
      2. Prince Gabriel
      3. Prince Emmanuel 
      4. Princess Eléonore
  2. Princess Astrid, Archduchess of Austria-Este
    1. Prince Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este 
      1. Prince Amedeo, Archduke of Austria-Este
        1. Elisabetta 'Lili' Maria, Archduchess of Austria-Este
      2. Princess Maria Laura, Archduchess of Austria-Este
      3. Prince Joachim, Archduke of Austria-Este 
      4. Princess Luisa Maria, Archduchess of Austria-Este 
      5. Princess Maria Laetia, Archduchess of Austria-Este
  3. Prince Laurent
    1. Princess Claire
      1. Princess Louise
      2. Prince Aymeric 
      3. Prince Nicholas 

Although the Constitution does not provide a particular official role for the Queen, she has always played a role in the public life of the country. As Queen of Belgium, she acted both alone and alongside her husband {Source}. Particular areas of interest of Queen Paola are social and cultural organizations{Source}. During her time as Belgian's Queen, she deployed the organization called the Queen's Charities to offer help to citizens who are struggling to cope with financial hardship in their daily lives and often turn to her as a last resort, the organization is now headed by Queen Mathilde, her daughter-in-law{Source}. In 1992, shortly becoming Queen officially, the Queen Paola Foundation was set up to provide her with the oppertunity to focus on the issue of interration and training for young people, based on three themes{Source}:

Meaningful support offered to agencies providing help to young people struggling to be included in the main social networks.

  1. The Queen Paola Prize for Education (launched in 1997) seeks to highlight and reward innovative schemes undertaken by educationalists from all academic levels and networks. 
  2. The School of Hope (set up in 1999): this initiative lends support to schools operating in a disadvantaged social and economic environment. 

In April 2002, she was named Honorary President of Child Focus{Source}. Her cultural activities primarily focus on several areas: Heritage, Crafts,Contemporary art, and Music{Source}

In her private life, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, enjoying nature, reading, traveling and listening to music{Source}.

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