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Saturday, July 20, 2013

New king for Belgium

Some weeks ago, our reigning monarch, Albert II, announced he would be abdicating the throne in favour of his eldest son, Prince Filip.

Tomorrow the official tranfer of power will take place, exactly on July 21st, which is the National Feast Day of our country. Albert is not a young man anymore, and recently he encountered a lot of problems. Last year, it took the government more than a year to form (!) and he also has a son (Laurent - who is whispered not to be his son, but that of an Italian magnate) who always causes conflict. And a woman who claims to be his daughter - Delphine Boël - and looks very much like him. Recently she asked for his DNA to prove his fatherhood...

So now we'll get King Filip I. In his early fifties now and married to Mathilde. She is the daughter of a count in the French-speaking part of the country. Her mother is a Polish aristocrat. She worked as a logopedist before she married the prince.

The couple has four children (up to now, at least). The eldest child, who will become the first Queen of Belgium (if the country still exist by then), is Elizabeth. She is 12 now and the first of the Belgian royals to speak fluent Flemish. Then there two boys, Gabriel and Emmanuel, and the youngest is another daughter, Eleonore.

The weather forecast for tomorrow says it's going to be a sunny and warm day. A change from the usual rain on the 21st! We call it the national 'drasj'. A 'drasj' is heavy rain, btw.

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