Tuesday, June 5, 2018

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 born on 5 June 1962 as the second child and only daughter of King Albert II and Queen Paola {Source}.

She has two brothers, and a alleged illegitimate paternal half-sister:
  1. King Philippe of The Belgians(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)
  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 two sons, a daughter-in-law, three daughters and a granddaughter{Source}:
  1. Prince Amedeo, Archduke of Austria-Este (1986)
    1. Archduchess Elisabetta "Lili" of Austria-Este (1987, m. 2014)
      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}. She was named:
  • Astrid: for her paternal grandmother, Princess Astrid of Sweden
  • Joséphine-Charlotte: for her paternal aunt, Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte, who was also her godmother
  • Fabrizia: is a small mountain town in Italy (also could be a nod to her godfather and uncle Fabrizio, Prince Ruffo di Calabria-Santapau, 7th Duke di Guardia Lombarda)
  • Elisabeth: for her paternal great grandmother, Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria
  • Paola: for her mother
  • Marie: traditional Catholic Royal name, for the Virgin Mary.
Her godparents were her maternal uncle and paternal aunt, Fabrizio, Prince Ruffo di Calabria-Santapau, 7th Duke di Guardia Lombarda, and her aunt Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg.

She is a member of the Honorary Board of the International Paralympic Committee. She shares a birthday with Ludwig Christian Mikael Rosanes af Rosenborg (a distant cousin of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark).

 Her godchildren are:
  • Archduchess Marie-Christine of Austria, The Countess of Limburg-Stirum (1983)
  • Prince Sébastien of Luxembourg (grandson of her own godmother, 1992)
  • Prince Gaston d'Orléans (2009)
She speaks:
  • French
  • Dutch
  • English
She and her niece Eléonore  share a "tradtion" in the Belgian Royal Family-both daughters of the monarchs have birthdays either the day before or the day after their father (Eléonore's birthday is 16th of April, King Philippe's is the 15th, King Albert's is the 6th of June)

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