The Belgian royal family will now address its subjects in English for the first time. The monarchy in the country is now offering an English translation of its website. Earlier, the royal family addressed their subjects and the entire world only in German, French or Dutch.
The new look website features new family pictures with a special section for children. It gives details of ‘A Day in the Life of the King’ and ‘What It’s Like to Work in the Palace.’ The family name of the Belgian royals is Saxe-Coburg Gotha.
Like the British royal family’s name is Windsor, and their Swedish counterparts are called the Bernadotte. The family had changed its surname around the time of World War I and hence in all official documents Belgian royals are referred to as van België, de Belgique or von Belgien. These names are for text either in Dutch, French or German.
The 55-year-old King Philippe has been on the throne since his father Albert II, 81, abdicated for health reasons in July 2013. He graduated from Oxford University and pursued Master of Arts (MA) in political science from Stanford University, California. His wife Queen Mathilde was a speech therapist in Brussels, before she became a royal after her marriage in 1999.
The royal couple has four children. Their teenage daughter Princess Elisabeth, who is styled as the Duchess of Brabant, is Philippe’s designated successor and heir apparent to the Belgian throne. The couple also have three more kids – Prince Gabriel, 12; Prince Emmanuel, 10 and Princess Eleonore, who turned eight on Wednesday.
Philippe and Mathilde enjoyed their annual skiing holiday at the popular resort of Verbier in Switzerland in February. The royal couple and their four kids appeared to be have had a great time. The family also took some time out to pose for pictures while having fun in the snow.
Philippe has a sister Princess Astrid, 53, and a younger brother Prince Laurent, 52. He recently admitted that, at times, he gets “a little tired” of royal life. The king is also believed to have a half-sister, the sculptor and artist Delphine Boel, 48.