The Royal Family of Belgium

The Belgian Monarchy

In 1831, the National Congress gave Belgium a constitution that re-organised the new state as a constitutional parliamentary monarchy. Congress selected Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg as the monarch. It was the most democratic monarchy in Europe around that time.

Since its founding in 1831, Belgium has been a hereditary monarchy. The King, has a role as arbitrator and guardian of the unity and independence of the country.

The King's Feast (Dutch: Koningsfeest, French: Fête du Roi, German: Festtag des Königs) has been celebrated in Belgium on November 15 since 1866. This is the day when Belgium pays tribute to the King of the Belgians and the Royal Dynasty.

Reigning King Philippe Léopold Louis Marie is the son of King Albert II and Queen Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria.

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).

King Philippe Léopold Louis Marie, seventh King of the Belgians, took the oath on 21 July 2013. He is married to Countess Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz with whom he has four children.

The King and Queen have four children: Princess Elisabeth, Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel and Princess Eléonore.

The King of Belgium's duties include contacts with a wide range of representatives of Belgian society: members of the federal government, of the community and regional governments, MPs and political leaders, representatives of the economic, social, cultural and scientific sectors, academia and the media.

The King and the members of the Royal Family also keep in close touch with the citizens of Belgium, promoting private and public initiatives that help bring about social improvements.

The King and the members of the Royal Family represent Belgium abroad at the highest levels (State visits, trade missions, participation in international meetings).

The King is a symbol of the unity and permanence of the nation. He is seen as a moderator of political life.