Sunday, June 5, 2016

Royal Profile: Princess Astrid of Belgium, The Archduchess of Austria-Este

Princess Astrid Joséphine-Charlotte Fabrizia Elisabeth Paola Marie of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este was on 5 June 1962, the second child and only daughter of King Albert II and Queen Paola {Source}. She has an older brother and a younger brother, as well as  an alleged illegitimate half sister, three nieces (and another alleged niece) and four nephews (and another alleged nephew): 
  1. King Philippe of Belgium(1960)
    1. Queen Mathilde of Belgium (1971)
      1. Princess Elisabeth of Belgium, The Duchess of Brabant (2001)
      2. Prince Gabriel of Belgium (2003)
      3. Prince Emmanuel of Belgium (2005)
      4. Princess Eléonore of Belgium (2008)
    2. Prince Laurent of Belgium (1963)
      1. Princess Claire of Belgium (1974, m. 2003)
        1. Princess Louise of Belgium (2004)
        2. Prince Nicolas of Belgium (2005, twin)
        3. Prince Aymeric of Belgium (2005, twin)
    3. Jonkvrouw Delphine Boel (1968, alleged)
      1. Miss Joséphine Boel O'Hare(2003, alleged)
      2. Master Oscar Boel O'Hare (2008, alleged)

She attended to her education mostly in Belgium {Source}. She also studied Art History in The Netherlands {Source}, at the Institute of European Studies in Switzerland {Source} and in the USA {Source}.

On 22 September 1984. she marred Archduke Lorenz of Austria-Este {Source}. He would become Prince of Belgium by Royal Decree in 1995 {Source}. Together, they have five children, a granddaughter, and a daughter-in-law{Source}:

  1. Prince Amedeo, Archduke of Austria-Este (1986)
    1. Archduchess Elisabetta "Lili" of Austria-Este (1987)
      1. Archduchess Anna Astrid of Austria-Este (2016)
  2. Princess Maria Laura, Archduchess of Austria-Este (1988)
  3. Prince Joachim, Archduke of Austria-Este (1991)
  4. Princess Luisa Maria, Archduchess of Austria-Este (1995)
  5. Princess Laetia Maria, Archduchess of Austria-Este (2003)

Over the years, the former Belgian King's only daughter has taken on numerous roles in Belgium. From 1994-2007, she was chairwoman of the Belgian Red Cross {Source}. She supports clinical and fundamental research through her role as Chairwoman of the Queen Elisabeth Medical Foundation and the European Organisation on Research and Treatment of Cancer(EORTC), and in that capacity is also a regular visitor to clinics and hospitals {Source}. The Princess also often acts as a "Special representative" of the Roll Back Malaria partnership {Source}. She also takes an active role in the fight against domestic violence or violence against civilians in war circumstances {Source}. She takes an active role with people who various circumstances become marginalized citizens, and can frequently be seen working with and encouraging organizations who offer assistance (such as Special Olympics, organizations that assist the homeless, that sort of thing){Source}. In June 2009, she was appointed as a honorary member of the International Paralympic Comittee's Governing Board {Source}. In November 1996, she became a member of the Belgian Senate as a senator by right {Source}. In 1997, she joined the Belgian Armed Forces as a Colonel in the Medical Unit {Source}.

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