Princess Astrid of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este
|Princess of Belgium
Archduchess of Austria-Este
Princess Astrid making an address in Laos in 2009
5 June 1962 |
Belvédère Castle, Laeken, Belgium
|Spouse||Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este (m. 1984)|
Princess Maria Laura
Princess Luisa Maria
Princess Laetitia Maria
|House||Saxe-Coburg and Gotha|
|Father||King Albert II of the Belgians|
|Mother||Princess Paola Ruffo di Calabria|
|Belgian royal family|
Princess Astrid of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este (born 5 June 1962), is the second child and only daughter of King Albert II and Queen Paola, and younger sister to the current Belgian monarch, King Philippe. She is married to Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este, head of the Austria-Este branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.
Princess Astrid was born one day before her father's 28th birthday at the Château de Belvédère, near Laeken, and was named for her late paternal grandmother, Astrid of Sweden, the popular first wife of King Leopold III. Her godparents were her uncle Fabrizio, Prince Ruffo di Calabria-Santapau, 7th Duke di Guardia Lombarda, and her aunt Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg.
Marriage and issue
Princess Astrid married Archduke Lorenz of Austria-Este, the head of the Archducal House of Austria-Este, on 22 September 1984 at Brussels. Lorenz is the eldest son of Robert, Archduke of Austria-Este (1915–1996), and his wife Princess Margherita of Savoy-Aosta (born in 1930). Her husband was also created Prince of Belgium by Royal Decree on 27 November 1995.
Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz have five children, who bear the title "Prince/Princess of Belgium" (in each of the three official languages) as members of the Belgian royal family and Archduke/Archduchess of Austria:
- Prince Amedeo Marie Joseph Carl Pierre Philippe Paola Marcus d'Aviano, Archduke of Austria (born 21 February 1986)
- Princess Maria Laura Zita Beatrix Gerhard, Archduchess of Austria-Este (born 26 August 1988)
- Prince Joachim Karl-Maria Nikolaus Isabelle Marcus d'Aviano, Archduke of Austria-Este (9 December 1991)
- Princess Luisa Maria Anna Martine Pilar, Archduchess of Austria-Este (born 11 October 1995)
- Princess Laetitia Maria Nora Anna Joachim Zita, Archduchess of Austria-Este (born 23 April 2003)
Astrid was formerly President of the Belgian Red Cross, a position which ended on 31 December 2007. She declined to stand again for election to the role in light of internal struggles in the organisation in reconciling its French-speaking and Flemish branches, each of which seeks greater autonomy. The princess is also a colonel in the Medical Component of the Belgian Armed Forces. Her official residence is the Royal Palace of Laeken on the edge of Brussels.
Princess Astrid has been for many years a fierce advocate for landmine survivors rights, participating actively in the work of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, also known as the Ottawa Treaty, since Belgium joined in 1998. In 2013, the Princess was named Special Envoy of the Convention, and has promoted the acceptance of a global ban on landmines and promoted the rights of survivors in various UN meetings.
Upon her brother's ascension to the throne, Princess Astrid took on some duties previously conducted by Philippe as the Honorary chairman of the board of the Foreign Trade Agency with his wife, Queen Mathilde. Princess Astrid travelled to Angola, South Africa, India and Russia to promote Belgian trade.
Titles, styles and honours
Archduchess of Austria-Este
|Reference style||Her Imperial and Royal Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Imperial and Royal Highness|
- 5 June 1962 – 22 September 1984: Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium
- 22 September 1984 – Present: Her Imperial and Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este[note 1]
- Germany: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1st Class
- Hungary: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary
- Luxembourg: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Adolphe of Nassau
- Netherlands: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown
- Norway: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit
- Portugal: Grand Cross of the Order of Prince Henry
- Spain: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit
- Sweden: Commander Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Polar Star
|Ancestors of Princess Astrid of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este|
- Enache, Nicolas. La Descendance de Marie-Therese de Habsburg. ICC, Paris, 1996. pp. 44-45,50. French
- Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Furstlicher Hauser Bande XVI, C.A. Starke Verlag, Haus Osterreich, Limburg, 2001, pp. 91–92. German
- "Honorary Board". IPC.
- Le Soir, Article (French) announcing the rank
- Belgian Defense Website, Article evoking Princess Astrid & Prince Laurent
- Belgian Defense Website, Article evoking Princess Astrid, last section "Mon colonel !"[dead link]
- She has held the title "Princess of Belgium" from birth under Belgian law. By marriage to an archduke of the house of Austria-Este, she gained, in addition to her native title, the style "Imperial and Royal Highness" and the title "Archduchess of Austria-Este". Upon her husband's succeeding to the headship of his house in 1996, as wife of the Archduke of Austria-Este, internationally or depending on the situation, she is also accorded the traditional title "Her Imperial and Royal Highness The Archduchess of Austria-Este" or, more formally, reflecting both her native and marital titles, is addressed as HI&RH Princess Astrid of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este. Her children by Archduke Lorenz bear the titles "Prince(ss) of Belgium" by Belgian decree of 2 December 1991, in addition to their Austrian titles borne by tradition, "Archduke/Archduchess of Austria".
Princess Astrid of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-EsteBorn: 5 June 1962
Princess Eléonore of Belgium
|Line of succession to the Belgian throne
Prince Amedeo of Belgium