King of the Belgians prepares to abdicate

His Majesty The King of the Belgians has begun his final preparations for his abdication this Sunday when he will formally hand over Kingship to his son, who will become King Philippe.

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King Albert II has been King of the Belgians for almost 20 years and announced earlier in the month that he would be abdicating because he says his health is no longer good enough to continue his duties.

He will become the second King of the Belgians to abdicate in their history since Leopold III in 1951 abdicated for King Albert’s brother Baudouin. Albert later succeeded his brother in 1993 and has remained King ever since.

Albert II’s abdication will mean the second European Monarch abdicating in just 3 months after Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated in April for King Willem-Alexander.

King Albert has created his final set of Barons and Baronesses this week before his abdication.

On Sunday, he will sign the document which will hand over power to Prince Philippe. Philippe’s wife will become Queen Mathilde.

Royal Central will be covering the abdication live. Follow us on Twitter for more details as the day draws closer.

photo credit: President of the European Council via photopin cc