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King Philippe reveals details of his special birthday celebrations

© Koninklijk Paleis, Brussel/Palais Royal, Bruxelles/Königlicher Palast, Brüssel/Royal Palace, Brussels Photographer: Bas Bogaerts

The King of the Belgians turns 60 in April and to mark this big birthday, he’s hosting a very special party. Philippe and his wife, Queen Mathilde, will throw open the doors of Laeken Castle to one hundred people born on the same day as the monarch.

Their guests will be treated to an afternoon of celebrations at the famous Belgian royal residence. To be invited, you have to be Belgian and born on April 15th 1960, the same day that Philippe made his debut. And you’ll also have to put your name in the hat – those who share the king’s date of birth have to email to apply for a place at the party.

These April babies will also be celebrating a month late. The festivities will be held on May 16th 2020 when the gardens at Laeken will be in full bloom. Philippe is also likely to be busy around the time of his actual anniversary as his big day happens just 24 hours before the 80th of Queen Margrethe of Denmark. The King and Queen of the Belgians are expected to join the rather regal guest list in Copenhagen for a glittering gala marking the Danish monarch’s eight decades.

Philippe’s 60th celebrations bear some similarities to the event chosen to mark his eldest child’s 18th birthday. When Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant reached her majority in October 2019, the Belgian Royal Family invited other young people born on the same day to the Royal Palace in Brussels for the day.

Philippe Leopold Louis Marie was born on April 15th 1960 at Laeken, the first child of Albert and Paola, then Prince and Princess of Liege. He became heir to the throne in 1993 when his father succeeded as monarch. Philippe became King of the Belgians on July 21st 2013 on the abdication of his father.

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Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.