King Philippe and Queen Mathilde

The Cross of Laeken welcomes the accession to the throne of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde. Philippe took the constitutional oath, becoming the seventh King of the Belgians, on July 21, 2013, upon the abdication of his father, King Albert II. Born in 1960, Philippe prepared dutifully for his role as monarch, heading a number of Belgian trade missions around the world during his years as heir to the throne. He was particularly close to his late uncle, King Baudouin, whose conservative religious and political principles he is said to share. Philippe's elegant, empathetic wife, a speech therapist and psychologist by profession, is Belgium's first native Queen. She was born Mathilde Marie Christiane Ghislaine d'Udekem d'Acoz, a daughter of Belgian and Polish nobility. Philippe and Mathilde have four children, Princess Elisabeth, Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel, and Princess Eléonore. As a result of recent changes to the succession laws, Princess Elisabeth is the first female heir apparent to the Belgian throne. Here are some of this blog's articles on the new King and Queen and their family.