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.
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:
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
being invaded, Prince Albert, his elder sister Princess Joséphine-Charlotte
and his elder brother Prince Baudouin, left the country for France
and later Spain.
They continued their studies until 1944, either at Laeken, or at the
Castle of Ciergnon in the Ardennes.
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.
his family moved to the villa "Le Reposoir" in Pregny, Switzerland,
when they left Austria in October 1945 and stayed until July 1950.
secondary school in Geneva. King Leopold III, accompanied by
Prince Baudouin and Prince Albert, returned to Belgium on
22 July 1950.
Love and Marriage
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.
two sons and a daughter, twelve grandchildren and two
great-grandchildren. Their children are:
Belgian sculptor Delphine Boël (born in 1968) was King Albert II's
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.
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.
to summon his elder children as well.
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.
her lawyers said she would take the claim to appeal.
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.
a DNA sample in the case.
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].
by Alain Berenboom, confirming Delphine Boël as Albert II's daughter.
Albert II confirmed this on 27 January 2020 in a press release.
according to VTM News. "King Albert now has four children."
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
King of the Belgians
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.
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.
expertise in foreign trade.
2010–2011 when Belgium's parliament was unable to agree
on a government. When the crisis was resolved, Albert swore
in the new government.
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.
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.
session of the Belgian cabinet, where he revealed his intention
to abdicate to Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and to the deputy prime
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.
television speech that on 21 July, Belgium's National Day, he
would abdicate the throne for health reasons.
he would be styled as His Majesty King Albert II, the same form of
address granted to his father, Leopold III, after his abdication.
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.