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Albert II (born Stuyvenberg Castle, Brusselsmarker, 6 June 1934) is the current King of the Belgians and a constitutional monarch. He is a member of the royal house "of Belgium"; formerly this house was named Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. He is the second son of the late King Leopold III (1901-1983) and his first wife, Princess Astrid of Sweden (1905-1935). He ascended to the throne in 1993, upon the death of his older brother, Baudouin. His godparents were Prince Felix of Luxembourg and his paternal grandmother, Queen Elisabeth of Belgium.

Full Name

Albert's full name is Albert Félix Humbert Théodore Christian Eugène Marie in French, Albert Felix Humbert Theodoor Christiaan Eugène Marie in Dutch, and Albert Felix Humbert Theodor Christian Eugen Maria in German.

Biography

Prince Albert was sent to the Swissmarker private school Institut Le Roseymarker for his pre-university education. He succeeded his elder brother, Baudouin I, as king, taking the constitutional oath on 9 August 1993, becoming the oldest king in Belgian history to ascend to the throne (at age 59). Before his accession he was known as the Prince of Liège, a title created for him the day after his birth; he had been heir presumptive to the Belgian throne since 1951. He also served in the Belgian Navy between 1953 and 1958.

He is the 1,292nd Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Austriamarker and the 1,191st Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Spainmarker in 1994.

Marriage and family

He married, in Brusselsmarker, on 2 July 1959, Princess Donna Paola Margherita Maria Antonia Consiglia Ruffo di Calabria (born 1937). She is the daughter of Principe Don Fulco Ruffo di Calabria, Duca di Guardia Lombarda and his wife, Countess Luisa Gazelli di Rossana e di Sebastiano (1896-1989).

He and the Queen have three children:

The Belgian press considers, without formal proof, that The King also has an illegitimate daughter, Delphine Boël (born 1968). Her mother is a Belgian aristocrat, Sybille, Baroness de Selys Longchamps (ex-Madame Jacques Boël). Boël, a sculptor living in Brusselsmarker, has 2 children, Joséphine Boël and Oscar Boël, by her American companion, Jim O'Hare.

Titles

  • His Royal Highness The Prince of Liège
  • His Majesty The King of the Belgians


Ancestry



Patrilineal descent

Albert's patriline is the line from which he is descended father to son.

Patrilineal descent is the principle behind membership in royal houses, as it can be traced back through the generations - which means that if Albert II were to choose an historically accurate house name it would be Wettin, as all his male-line ancestors have been of that house.
House of Wettin
  1. Thimo of Wettin, Count of Brehna
  2. Conrad, Margrave of Meissen, maternal grandson of Otto of Nordheim, 1098 - 1157
  3. Otto II, Margrave of Meissen, 1125 - 1190
  4. Dietrich I, Margrave of Meissen, 1162 - 1221
  5. Henry III, Margrave of Meissen, c. 1215 - 1288
  6. Albert II, Margrave of Meissen, 1240 - 1314
  7. Frederick I, Margrave of Meissen, 1257 - 1323
  8. Frederick II, Margrave of Meissen, 1310 - 1349
  9. Frederick III, Landgrave of Thuringia, 1332 - 1381
  10. Frederick I, Elector of Saxony, 1370 - 1428
  11. Frederick II, Elector of Saxony, 1412 - 1464
  12. Ernest, Elector of Saxony, 1441 - 1486
  13. John, Elector of Saxony, 1468 - 1532
  14. John Frederick I, Elector of Saxony, 1503 - 1554
  15. Johann Wilhelm, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, 1530 - 1573
  16. John II, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, 1570 - 1605
  17. Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha, 1601 - 1675
  18. John Ernest IV, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, 1658 - 1729
  19. Francis Josias, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, 1697 - 1764
  20. Ernest Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, 1724 - 1800
  21. Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, 1750 - 1806
  22. Leopold I of Belgium, 1790 - 1865
  23. Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders, 1837 - 1905
  24. Albert I of Belgium, 1875 - 1934
  25. Leopold III of Belgium, 1901 - 1983
  26. Albert II of Belgium, 1934 -


See also



Gallery

Image:George_W._Bush_John_Paul_II_funeral.jpg|Albert II with Queen Paola of Belgium, Prince Henrik of Denmark, Bernadette Chirac, President Jorge Sampaio of Portugalmarker, George W. Bush and Laura Bush, President Arnold Rüütel of Estoniamarker, and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippinesmarker at the funeral of Pope John Paul II.

Belgian coinage

  • In Belgium, it is common that the effigy of the ruling King is minted in the coins for circulation. As a general rule, this does not happen for the commemorative and collectors' coins. However, some very high value coins have been minted with the effigy of the King in one side, such as the commemorative 100 euro gold coin minted in 2003.


See also



External links










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