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How the line of succession to the throne of Belgium’s King Philippe made history

King Philippe of the Belgians is marking ten years on the throne and his country is marking a decade of history. For the accession of Philippe also meant that, for the first time, the country had a female heir to the throne. Philippe’s daughter, Elisabeth, is in line to become the first queen regnant of the country one day.

The rules around who can ascend the throne have only recently been shaken up in Belgium and it’s focused on the descendants of Philippe’s father, King Albert II, who abdicated ten years ago.

The new laws of succession took effect in 1991, and if all the descendants of Albert die, the line then falls to the male descendants of King Leopold I’s male line.

To remain in the line of succession, a prince or princess must get the monarch’s permission to marry; permission can be granted after the marriage has taken place, as happened in the case of Prince Amedeo’s marriage to Princess Elisabetta.

Belgium’s current line of succession to follow King Philippe has 16 people and is as follows:

  1. Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant
  2. Prince Gabriel
  3. Prince Emmanuel
  4. Princess Eleonore
  5. Princess Astrid
  6. Prince Amedeo
  7. Archduchess Anna Astrid
  8. Archduke Maximilian
  9. Princess Maria Laura
  10. Prince Joachim
  11. Princess Luisa Maria
  12. Princess Laetitia Maria
  13. Prince Laurent
  14. Princess Louise
  15. Prince Nicolas
  16. Prince Aymeric

King Albert II’s daughter from an extramarital affair, Princess Delphine, and her two children are not in the line of succession as her parents were not married when she was born.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. She's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.