Who exactly are Belgium’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde?

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium: The Queen’s funeral is being attended by many notable people including members of the royal family.

Some 500 members of foreign royal families and dignitaries, including the King and Queen of Belgium, attended Queen Elizabeth II’s burial. As well as representing their nation, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde were there in their personal capacity as the Queen’s relatives.

The Queen’s great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, is a distant relative of the Belgian royal line. To this day, Belgium’s monarchy remains in place, making it a rare occurrence among nations.

After his father abdicated for health reasons in 2013, King Philippe became monarch. His daughter, Princess Elisabeth, became the de facto first queen regnant of Belgium upon his resignation and subsequent coronation about an hour later.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde

Who is King Philippe?

On April 15, 1960, Prince Albert and Princess Paola gave birth to King Philippe of Belgium. Between 1978 through 1981, he attended the Royal Military Academy of Belgium and was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant.

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After finishing his undergraduate degree at Harvard University, he went on to get a master’s degree in political science from Stanford University in California. In addition to being a commando and parachutist, King Philippe pursued and earned his pilot’s license.

In the first year of his reign, King Philippe helped create a coalition government after the 2014 federal election. The King of Belgium expressed remorse for the “acts of brutality and cruelty” that had been done in Belgian Congo in the year 2020.

Who is Queen Mathilde?

Mathilde is the first queen to have been born in Belgium, and she is the wife of the country’s king. Mathilde Marie Christine Ghislaine d’Udekem d’Acoz is her full name; she was born on January 20th, 1973 in Uccle, Belgium.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium

Mathilde, now Queen, wed Philippe in 1999 before he became king, and the couple has since had four children: Princess Elisabeth, Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel, and Princess Eléonore. As a result of a change in succession legislation that took effect in 1991, Princess Elisabeth will not be passed in the line of succession by her younger brothers.

It was believed that the marriage of Philippe and Mathilde would help bring the French-speaking south and the Dutch-speaking north of Belgium closer together. There were also French and Dutch speakers present during the event.

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Mathilde is the patron of several organizations and cares deeply about combating poverty, improving the lives of children, and empowering women. She has a role in the World Health Organization and established the Queen Mathilde Fund, which promotes the protection of vulnerable populations and gives out an annual award for outstanding service.

How are they related to the Queen?

The Belgian royal family has ties to the British nobility, as is the case with many other royal families throughout the world. Royal marriages and other long-standing political relationships mean they have many common ancestors.

King Leopold I of Belgium is the patrilineal ancestor of the current Belgian royal family. Since Queen Victoria’s grandpa Franz, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, was his father, King Leopold I was her uncle.

Also, they have a common ancestor in King Christian IX of Denmark, who is considered by many to be the “grandfather of Europe” because of his many descendants. His great-great-great-grandsons are Charles II of England and Philippe I of France.

King Charles, then known as the Prince of Wales, attended Philippe and Mathilde’s wedding in place of Queen Elizabeth. King Philippe is the third cousin once removed from both Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles II.