Another new photo from King Albert II and Queen Paola’s 2016 Christmas card. This time featuring Prince Lorenz and Princess Astrid, Prince Amedeo and Archduchess Elisabetta and of course, little Archduchess Anna-Astrid!
July 2, 1959 – Wedding of Albert Prince of Liège and Paola Ruffo di Calabria.
Today, King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary, making them the longest married Belgian royal couple. On July 2, 1959, Prince Albert of Belgium, second son of King Leopold III and Queen Astrid of the Belgians, married Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria, daughter of Prince Fulco Ruffo di Calabria, a First World War flying ace, and Countess Luisa Gazelli. In 1993, upon the death of Prince Albert’s childless older brother, King Baudouin I, Albert and Paola succeeded to the Belgian throne. Their marriage has known painful and tragic times, but today they are a devoted couple. The Cross of Laeken
21 July 2013: King Albert II of Belgium abdicated on Belgium’s National Day and his eldest son, Prince Philippe, the Duke of Brabant, assumed the throne as King Philippe of Belgium. Once Philippe had taken the oath of office as King of the Belgians, his eldest daughter, Princess Élisabeth, became heiress apparent and therefore Duchess of Brabant.
Queen Elizabeth during her Golden Jubilee in 2002 with the other European Monarchs (minus Monaco and Liechtenstein)
Here’s a fun fact: of the Sovereigns of Europe at that time, Elizabeth, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, King Harald V of Norway, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, and Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein are still the sovereigns, but only Rainier has passed. King Albert II of Belgium, King Juan Carlos of Spain, and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands all abdicated their thrones.