donna paola

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Queen Paola of Belgium, then the Princess of Liège. (1937-)

Born Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria, descended from the ancient and noble Italian houses of Orsini, Colonna, Pallavicini, Alliata, and Rospigliosi, with claim to ancestors like the Marquis de Lafayette. 

Married Albert, Prince of Liège in 1959 at the age of 21, and had three children: 

  • King Philippe, 
  • Princess Astrid, and
  • Prince Laurent

Ascended the throne with her husband on 9 August 1993, who remained King Albert II of Belgium until his abdication in 2013 in favor of their eldest son Philippe.

Hailed as one of Europe’s great aristocratic beauties.