Get to know the Belgian royal family of six!
Until now, the Belgian royal family had pointedly chosen to address its subjects (along with the rest of the world) only in German, French or Dutch.
But that all changes this week as Belgium’s monarchy is now offering an English translation of its website.
And just in case you were wondering who’s who among the ruling family of this small but ultra chic European nation, here’s a cheat sheet.
Just as the British royal family s name is Windsor, and their Swedish counterparts Bernadotte, Belgian royals are technically Saxe-Coburg Gotha.
But because the family changed its surname around the time of World War I (like the Windsors), in all official documents Belgian royals are referred to as van België, de Belgique or von Belgien – depending on whether the text is in Dutch, French or German. (Good thing all Belgian royals are multi-lingual!)
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The King of the Belgians is Philippe, 55, who’s been on the throne since his father Albert II, 81, abdicated for health reasons in July 2013.
Following a spell in his nation’s equivalent of West Point, he graduated from Oxford and took his political science MA at California’s Stanford University.
His wife Queen Mathilde, 43, was a speech therapist in the country’s capital city of Brussels, before she became a royal after her 1999 marriage.
The royal couple has four children. Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant, 14, is the king’s designated successor and heir apparent to the Belgian throne. She has two younger brothers (Prince Gabriel, 12, and Prince Emmanuel, 10), as well as a younger sister Princess Eléonore, who turns 8 on April 16.
King Philippe also has a sister Princess Astrid, 53, and a younger brother Prince Laurent, 52, who’s something of a maverick. He recently admitted that, at times, he gets “a little tired” of royal life.
The king is also believed to have a half sister, the sculptor and artist Delphine Boël, 48, who is currently petitioning the nation’s courts for official recognition.