Who is King Albert II of Belgium?

Prince Albert was born on 6 June 1934 in Stuyvenberg Castle,
Brussels, as the second son and youngest child of King Leopold III
and his first wife, Princess Astrid of Sweden. 

He was second in line to the throne at birth, and was given the
title Prince of Liège. 

A Tragedy

Queen Astrid died in a car accident on 29 August 1935, in which
King Leopold was lightly injured but survived, when
Prince Albert was one year old. 

The King remarried to Mary Lilian Baels (later became
Princess of Réthy) in 1941. The couple produced three children:
Prince Alexandre,
Princess Marie-Christine
and Princess Marie-Esméralda (who is also Albert's goddaughter). 

Albert and his siblings had a close relationship with their stepmother
and they called her "Mother"

World War II

During World War II, on 10 May 1940, at the time when Belgium was
being invaded, Prince Albert, his elder sister Princess Joséphine-Charlotte
and his elder brother Prince Baudouin, left the country for France
and later Spain. 

The Princes and the Princess returned to Belgium on 2 August 1940.
They continued their studies until 1944, either at Laeken, or at the
Castle of Ciergnon in the Ardennes. 

In June 1944, at the time of the Allied landings, King Leopold, his
wife Princess Lilian and the royal children were deported by
the Germans to Hirschstein, Germany, and later to Strobl, Austria,
where they were liberated by the American Army on 7 May 1945. 

Owing to the political situation in Belgium, King Leopold and
his family moved to the villa "Le Reposoir" in Pregny, Switzerland,
when they left Austria in October 1945 and stayed until July 1950. 

During that time, Prince Albert would continue his education in a
secondary school in Geneva. King Leopold III, accompanied by
Prince Baudouin and Prince Albert, returned to Belgium on
22 July 1950.

Love and Marriage

In 1958, Albert went to the Vatican to witness the coronation of
Pope John XXIII. At a reception at the Belgian Embassy, he met
Italian Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria. Prince Albert proposed
marriage to her, to which she accepted. Two months after their meeting,
the prince introduced his future wife to his family, and four months
later to the press. 

The couple married on 2 July 1959 and have three children,
two sons and a daughter, twelve grandchildren and two
great-grandchildren. Their children are:

King Philippe (born 15 April 1960 at Belvédère Castle)
Princess Astrid (born 5 June 1962 at Belvédère Castle)
Prince Laurent (born 19 October 1963 at Belvédère Castle)

Delphine Boël

In 1997, the Belgian satirical magazine Père Ubu reported that the
Belgian sculptor Delphine Boël (born in 1968) was King Albert II's
extramarital daughter.

It took some years for the Belgian mainstream media to report this news.
According to Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, the mother of
Delphine, she and Albert shared an 18-year-long relationship
into which Delphine was born. 

In June 2013, Boël summoned the then King, the then Duke of
Brabant and the Archduchess of Austria-Este to appear in court. She
hoped to use DNA tests to prove that she is the King's daughter. 

As the King enjoyed complete immunity under the law, Boël decided
to summon his elder children as well. 

After the King's abdication, she abandoned her first suit to introduce
a second one only against the King as he was no longer protected by
immunity and the first claim would have been judged according to
the situation at the time of the introduction of the claim. 

In March 2017, the Court ruled that her claim was unfounded, and
her lawyers said she would take the claim to appeal.

On 25 October 2018, the Court of Appeal decided that Delphine Boël
is not a descendant of Jacques Boël, and ordered King Albert to undergo
DNA testing. His lawyer announced that he would seek further
advice about a possible referral to Belgium's Cour de Cassation
/ Hof van Cassatie. 

In 2019, the King's lawyer confirmed he would not provide
a DNA sample in the case.

On 29 May 2019, it was reported by CNN that Albert II had
submitted a DNA sample after a Belgian court ruled on 16 May that
he would be fined 5,000 euros for each day that he failed to do so,
although he would continue to challenge the ruling, according to his
attorney, Alain Berenboom [fr].

The results of these DNA samples were released on 27 January 2020
by Alain Berenboom, confirming Delphine Boël as Albert II's daughter.
Albert II confirmed this on 27 January 2020 in a press release.

"The king will treat all his children as equal," Berenboom said,
according to VTM News. "King Albert now has four children."

While it was proven that Boël was his biological daughter, her
legal status as a daughter was not recognized until a 1 October 2020
ruling of the Brussels Court of Appeal, which also recognized Boël
as a princess of Belgium and granted her the new surname
of Saxe-Coburg.

King of the Belgians

As the younger brother of the childless King Baudouin, Prince Albert
was the heir-presumptive to the throne. Albert's son Philippe was
groomed to eventually succeed. On Baudouin's death, Albert was
sworn in before parliament, on 9 August 1993, as
King of the Belgians.

As King, Albert's duties included representing Belgium at home
and abroad on state visits, trade missions, and at high level
international meetings as well as taking an interest in Belgian
society, culture and enterprise.

In 1984, he set up the Prince Albert Foundation, to promote
expertise in foreign trade.

The King had a constitutional role which came into play in
2010–2011 when Belgium's parliament was unable to agree
on a government. When the crisis was resolved, Albert swore
in the new government.

Albert sparked controversy in his December 2012 Christmas speech
by comparing modern "populist movements" with those of the 1930s.
This was seen by several political commentators, as well as many
Flemish politicians, as aimed implicitly at the large Flemish
nationalist party, the N-VA. 

Bart De Wever, the party's leader, called for the King's role in the
formation of Belgian governments to be changed in the wake of
this comment since he "could no longer see the monarch as playing
the constitutional role of referee.


On 3 July 2013, 79-year-old King Albert II attended a midday
session of the Belgian cabinet, where he revealed his intention
to abdicate to Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and to the deputy prime

According to a letter sent by the King to the Prime Minister
and dated 3 July 2013, and which was made public, the King had
already broached the topic of his intention to abdicate several times
with the Prime Minister, who had asked him to reconsider it. 

At 6 PM (CET) the King announced in a recorded radio and
television speech that on 21 July, Belgium's National Day, he
would abdicate the throne for health reasons. 

He was succeeded by his elder son, Philippe.

After his abdication on 21 July 2013 it was decided that
he would be styled as His Majesty King Albert II, the same form of
address granted to his father, Leopold III, after his abdication.


King Albert II of Belgium will forever be remembered as a monarch
who exemplified dignity, dedication, and a deep love for his country.
His reign was marked by a sense of duty and a commitment to
maintaining a unified Belgium. The journey of reconciliation with
Princess Delphine serves as a reminder that families, regardless of their
status, can navigate challenges, heal wounds, and forge new bonds.

Source pictures: Wikipedia & Screenshots

Royal Fashion Marimekko

Marimekko Oyj is a Finnish textiles, clothing, and home
furnishings company founded by Viljo and Armi Ratia in
Helsinki in 1951.


Marimekko was founded in 1951 by Viljo and Armi Ratia, after the Viljo's
oil-cloth factory project failed and was converted to a garment plant. Armi
asked some artist friends to apply their graphic designs to textiles. 

To show how the fabric could be used, the company then designed and
sold a line of simple dresses using their fabric. When Finland's leading
industrial designer Timo Sarpaneva invited the company to present a
fashion show (albeit canceled at short notice) at the 1957 Triennale in
Milan, it was an early recognition of fashion as an industrial art and of
Marimekko's key role in shaping it to that point. The garments were
eventually showcased in the nearby Rinascente upscale department
store by display manager Giorgio Armani.


Marimekko spread to America in the 1960s. It was introduced to the
United States by the architect Benjamin C. Thompson, who
featured them in his Design Research stores. They were made
famous in the United States by future first lady Jacqueline Kennedy,
who bought eight Marimekko dresses which she wore throughout the
1960 United States presidential campaign.

In 1985, the company was sold to Amer-yhtymä. In the early 1990s,
Marimekko was in a bad financial condition and close to bankruptcy.
It was bought from Amer by Kirsti Paakkanen, who introduced new
business methods in the company and helped to revive its popularity.

Later in the 1990s Marimekko achieved publicity in the hit TV series
Sex and the City. The fictional main character of the series,
sex-and-relationship columnist Carrie Bradshaw, wore a Marimekko
bikini on season 2 and then a Marimekko dress. In season 5 the series
introduced tablecloths with Marimekko prints.

Marimekko products are made in China, India, Thailand, Portugal,
Lithuania and other countries. Fabrics are printed in Marimekko's
textile factory in Helsinki, but are not made in Finland

Royal Clients

Princess Margaret
Princess Caroline of Monaco

Queen Sonja of Norway was pictured with a Marimekko dress. 

Even The Queen was pictured in Finland with a Marimekko patern after her. 

Source pictures: Wikipedia