Philippe of Belgium

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Philippe / Filip
Filip Antwerpen3.JPG
King of the Belgians
Reign 21 July 2013 – present
Predecessor Albert II
Heir apparent Elisabeth
Prime Ministers
Spouse Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz
Princess Elisabeth
Prince Gabriel
Prince Emmanuel
Princess Eléonore
Full name
Dutch: Filip Leopold Lodewijk Maria
French: Philippe Léopold Louis Marie
German: Philipp Leopold Ludwig Maria
House House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Father Albert II of Belgium
Mother Paola Ruffo di Calabria
Born (1960-04-15) 15 April 1960 (age 54)
Brussels, Belgium
Religion Roman Catholicism

Philippe or Filip[1] (French: Philippe Léopold Louis Marie, Dutch: Filip(s) Leopold Lodewijk Maria; born 15 April 1960) is the King of the Belgians, having ascended the throne on 21 July 2013. He is the eldest child of King Albert II, whom he succeeded upon Albert's abdication for health reasons, and Queen Paola. He married Countess Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz (now Queen Mathilde), with whom he has four children. King Philippe's elder daughter, Princess Elisabeth, is next in the line of succession. At age 54, Philippe is Europe's third-youngest reigning monarch, following the 47-year-old Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and the 46-year-old Felipe VI of Spain.

Early life[edit]

His godparents were his paternal grandfather, King Leopold III, and his maternal grandmother Donna Luisa, Princess Ruffo di Calabria.


From 1978 to 1981, King Philippe was educated at the Belgian Royal Military Academy in the 118th "Promotion Toutes Armes". On 26 September 1980, he was appointed second lieutenant and took the officer's oath.

He continued his education at Trinity College, Oxford and he attended graduate school at Stanford University, California, where he graduated in 1985 with an MA degree in political science.

He obtained his fighter pilot's wings and his certificates as a parachutist and a commando. In 1989, he attended a series of special sessions at the Royal Higher Defence Institute. The same year, he was promoted to Colonel. On 25 March 2001, the Prince was appointed to the rank of Major-General in the Land Component and the Air Component and to the rank of Rear-Admiral in the Naval Component.


Philippe married Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz, daughter of a Walloon Count of Belgian noble family and female line descendant of Polish noble families such as the Princes Sapieha and Counts Komorowski, on 4 December 1999 in Brussels, in a civil ceremony at the Brussels Town Hall and a religious ceremony at the Cathedral of Saint Michel in Brussels. They have four children:

Foreign trade[edit]

On 6 August 1993, the government named Prince Philippe as Honorary Chairman of the Belgian Foreign Trade Board (BFTB). He succeeded his father, who had been Honorary Chairman of the BFTB since 1962. On 3 May 2003, Prince Philippe was appointed Honorary chairman of the board of the Foreign Trade Agency, replacing the BFTB.[2]

In this capacity, Prince Philippe has headed (alone "P", or with Princess Mathilde since 2000 "P&M") more than 60 important economic missions which include:[3][4][5]

  • 1993: Spain, Saudi Arabia
  • 1994: Japan, Vietnam, Argentina
  • 1995: South Africa, India, Sweden, Malaysia, Argentina,
  • 1996: Philippines (March), China
  • 1997: Turkey, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Germany
  • 1998: Mexico, Poland, India (December)
  • 1999: Egypt, Brazil
  • 2000: China & Hong-Kong (May, P&M), Argentina & Uruguay, South Korea, Hungary, United States - New York
  • 2001: Thailand (February), the Federation of Russia (June, P), Morocco
  • 2002: Malaysia, Chile, Saudi Arabia & Kuwait (18–24 October, P), Australia and New Zealand (16–27 November, P&M)
  • 2003: Mexico & California (15–25 February, P&M), Vietnam (11–17 October, P) and Poland (16–21 November, P&M)
  • 2004: United Arab Emirates & Oman, Turkey (2–6 May, P&M), Algeria & Tunisia (4–8 October, P) and China (20–28 November, P&M)
  • 2005: India (12–19 March, P&M), Japan (11–18 June, P), Brazil (19–26 November, P)
  • 2006: South Africa (11–18 March, P&M), Russia (26 June – 1 July, P&M), Canada (5–11 Nov, P), Bulgaria & Romania (10–13 Dec, P&M)
  • 2007: China (15–25 June, P&M), Bahrain & Qatar (2–6 November, P&M)
  • 2008: Seattle/Vancouver (7–13 March, P), Egypt (24–28 May, P), Argentina & Uruguay (4–10 Oct, P),
            Indonesia / Singapore (21–28 Nov, P&M)
  • 2009: Mexico/Panama (21–27 March, P&M), South Korea (9–15 May, P), Saudi Arabia & United Arab Emirates (22–27(P)-28(&M) Oct.),
            Morocco (22–26 November, P&M).
  • 2010: India (20–27 March, P&M), Brazil (15–22 May, P&M), Kazakhstan (11–15 October, P), Ukraine (21–24 November, P).
  • 2011: Russia – Moscow – St Pet. (3–8 April, P&M), United States – New York, Washington & Boston (22–30 June, P&M),
              China (20–29 October, P&M), Chile (3–7 December, P).
  • 2012: Vietnam (10–16 March, P&M), Japan (11–15 June, P&M), Turkey (15–19 Oct, P&M), Australia & New Zealand (16–30 Nov, P).
  • 2013: Thailand (March), United States – Los Angeles, San Francisco & San Diego (June).

Upon his accession as seventh King of the Belgians, this role was taken over by his sister Princess Astrid.


King Philippe and Queen Mathilde wave to the crowds in Brussels after Philippe's swearing in as new Belgian monarch.

King Albert II announced on 3 July 2013 that he would abdicate in favour of Philippe on 21 July 2013.[6] Approximately one hour after King Albert's abdication, King Philippe was sworn in as King of the Belgians.[7]

Owing to the amendment to the laws of succession changing from the rule of agnatic primogeniture (the Lex Salica, or Salic law) to absolute primogeniture (in which the eldest child is always heir apparent), Princess Elisabeth is next in the line of succession after her father, followed by her younger brothers, Prince Gabriel and Prince Emmanuel, and her younger sister Princess Eléonore.

Military ranks[edit]

Erm ecusson.jpg Omega - Ecole Royale Militaire (Belgique) - Promotion toutes armes.svg Aile COA-3-coul-20x7-300dpi.jpg Brevet Para be.jpg Brevet Cdo be.jpg
Royal Military Acad.[13] Pilot Wings[13] Parachutist badge[12] Commando badge[13][14]
123rd TAW (1978–1981) 9 July 1982 28 October 1982 17 December 1982
BE-Air Force-OF1b.svg Army-BEL-OF-01b.svg BE-Air Force-OF2b.svg Army-BEL-OF-02b.svg BE-Air Force-OF5.svg Army-BEL-OF-05.svg BE-Air Force-OF7.svg Army-BEL-OF-07.svg Generic-Navy-O9.svg BE-Air Force-OF8.svg Army-BEL-OF-08.svg Generic-Navy-O10.svg BE-Air Force-OF9.svg Army-BEL-OF-09.svg Generic-Navy-O11.svg
1980 1983 1989 2001 2010 2013

Titles, styles, and honours[edit]

Royal styles of
Philippe of Belgium
Coat of Arms of the King of the Belgians (1921).svg
Reference style His Majesty
Spoken style Your Majesty
Alternative style Sire
  • 15 April 1960 – 9 August 1993: His Royal Highness Prince Philippe of Belgium
  • 9 August 1993 – 21 July 2013: His Royal Highness The Duke of Brabant
  • 21 July 2013 – present: His Majesty The King of the Belgians


Personal Standard of Philippe, King of the Belgians.

See also: List of state visits & List of honours of the Belgian Royal Family by country

King Philippe has received numerous honours throughout his life:[15]

Belgian honours[edit]

On his 30th birthday, he was awarded, by his uncle, King Baudouin of the Belgians, the highest Belgian honour:

From his accession to the throne, he is the following:

Foreign honours[edit]

Orders of sovereign states
1993 NLD Order of Orange-Nassau - Knight Grand Cross BAR.png Netherlands Netherlands Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau [16][17]
1994 ARG Order of the Liberator San Martin - Grand Cross BAR.png Argentina Argentina Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Liberator General San Martín [18]
JPN Daikun'i kikkasho BAR.svg Japan Japan Knight Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum [19]
1995 OESSG Cavaliere di Gran Croce BAR.jpg Holy See Holy See Knight Grand Cross of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem [20]
1996 BOL Order of Condor of the Andes - Grand Cross BAR.png Bolivia Bolivia Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Condor of the Andes [18]
1997 PRT Military Order of Aviz - Grand Cross BAR.png Portugal Portugal Knight Grand Cordon of the Military Order of Aviz [21]
2005 PRT Order of Christ - Grand Cross BAR.png Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Christ
1998 GER Bundesverdienstkreuz 7 Grosskreuz.svg Germany Germany Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic [22]
1999 Ord.Lion.Nassau.jpg Luxembourg Luxembourg Knight of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau [23]
2000 ESP Isabella Catholic Order GC.svg Spain Spain Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic [24][25]
2001 Seraphimerorden ribbon.svg Sweden Sweden Knight of the Royal Order of the Seraphim [26]
2002 DEN Elefantordenen BAR.png Denmark Denmark Knight of the Order of the Elephant [27]
2003 Order Sint Olaf 1 kl.png Norway Norway Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Olav [28][29]
2004 FIN Order of the White Rose Grand Cross BAR.png Finland Finland Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the White Rose of Finland [30]
POL Order Zaslugi RP kl1 BAR.png Poland Poland Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland [31]
2005 GRE Order of Honour Grand Cross BAR.png Greece Greece Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Honour [18]
2008 HUN Order of Merit of the Hungarian Rep (civil) 1class BAR.svg Hungary Hungary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Civilian Class [32][33]
Sovereign orders
1998 SMOM-gcs.svg  SMOM Malteserkreuz.svg Knight Grand Cross of Honour and Dévotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta [18]
Former sovereign families
2010 Order of the Golden Fleece Rib.gif Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg House of Habsburg Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece (House of Habsburg) [18]
International organisations
2010 CISM Order of Merit Grand Cordon BAR.svg International Military Sports Council Knight Grand Cordon of the IMSC Order of Merit [34]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ In languages of Belgium, the pronunciations are in French ([fiˈlip]) and Dutch ([ˈfilɪp]).
  2. ^ Official portrait
  3. ^ "Les missions économiques du prince Philippe" (French)
  4. ^ Agence pour le Commerce extérieur, Missions antérieures
  5. ^ "Official Royal Website Archives". Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  6. ^ Price, Matthew (3 July 2013). "Belgium's King Albert II announces abdication". BBC News. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Belgium's King Albert II gives up throne to son". CNN. 21 July 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Official 3Para page (French) evoking Prince Philippe
  9. ^ a b Prince Philippe promoted, portrait
  10. ^ Photo of Philippe as a Captain (3 stars) in the 3Para Battalion
  11. ^ Prince Philippe gets married in his uniform of Colonel of the Belgian Air Force
  12. ^ a b Photo of Prince Philippe as a General-major showing his parachutist badge
  13. ^ a b c 21 July 2012, photo showing the commando badge, the blue wing of the parachutist badge under the ribbon of the Order of Leopold, the pilot wing, the omega sign of Royal Academy "Promotion toutes armes"
  14. ^ Photo showing the commando badge
  15. ^ "Belgische Senaat – Biographish Handboek / Sénat de Belgique – Manuel Biographique" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  16. ^ PPE Agency, King Willem-Alexander's inthronization 2013, Photo
  17. ^ Belga Pictures, State visit in Belgium of HM Queen Beatrix of Netherlands (20–22 June 2006), Philippe in this group photo
  18. ^ a b c d e Senate, biography of senators including Prince Philippe, senator by right
  19. ^ Belga Pictures, State visit in Japan, 1996, Sovereign couples & Prince Philippe
  20. ^ Order of the Holy Sepulchre, Belgian Lieutenancy's Official website, article evoking the decoration
  21. ^ Belga Pictures, State visit in Belgium of HE Mr Jorge SAMPAIO, President of the Portuguese Republic & Mrs SAMPAIO (18–20 October 2005, Photo of Prnce Philippe
  22. ^ Belga Pictures, State visit of President Herzog in Belgium (1998), Group Photo
  23. ^ Belga Pictures, State visit in Belgium of TT.RR.AA Grand-Duke Henri & Grand-Duchess Maria-Teresa of Luxembourg. (20–22 March 2007), Philippe & Mathilde
  24. ^ Belga Pictures, State visit in Belgium of TT.MM. King Juan Carlos & Queen Sofia of Spain (16–18 May 2000), Group photo
  25. ^ Prince Felipe's wedding – Belga Pictures, Philippe wearing the order
  26. ^ Belga Pictures, Princess Victoria of Sweden's wedding, 2010, Philippe & Mathilde
  27. ^ Zimbio, Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark & Mary Donaldson's wedding, 14 May 2004, Photo of Philippe and Mathilde
  28. ^ Belga Pictures, State visit in Belgium of TTMM. King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway (20–22 May 2003), Philippe is behind in this group photo
  29. ^ King Harald's 70th birthday party, 2007, Group photo of Heirs & their consort
  30. ^ Belga Pictures, State visit of H.E. President Mrs Tarja Halonen of Finland & Dr Pentti Arajärvi (30/03-01/04/2004), Gala dinner, Philippe & Mathilde
  31. ^ Official Belgian royal website, State visit in Belgium of H.E. Mr Aleksander Kwasniewski, President of the Republic of Poland & Mrs Jolanta Kwasniewska, Gala dinner, group photo
  32. ^ Official Royal Website, State visit in Belgium of H.E. Mr Laszlo SÓLYOM, President of the Republic of Hungary. (15–17 April 2008, Group photo
  33. ^ Belga Pictures, Philippe
  34. ^ "Prince Philippe receives an international sportive prize". Retrieved 2013-07-22. 

External links[edit]

Philippe of Belgium
Born: 15 April 1960
Belgian royalty
Title last held by
Duke of Brabant
Succeeded by
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Albert II
King of the Belgians
Heir apparent: