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Philippe at 60: A Royal Childhood


Photo: Laura Dekkers

Today, we’re looking at the early life of King Philippe. Born on 15 April 1960 to Prince Albert and Princess Paola of Liège, there was every chance that he would never ascend to the throne. His uncle, King Baudouin was on the throne at the time, and the married king was trying for an heir. It wasn’t until well after his childhood that it appeared that Prince Philippe may someday become the King of the Belgians.

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Prince Philippe was christened a month later at the Church of Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg in Brussels in the presence of his parents and grandparents, ex-King Leopold III (paternal grandfather) and Donna Luisa, Princess Ruffo di Calabria (maternal grandmother), who were also his godparents.

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Prince Albert, Princess Paola and Prince Philippe in 1961.

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Prince Philippe celebrating his first birthday with balloons, 15 April 1961.

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Opening his birthday presents, 1961.

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Prince Philippe joined his mother in distributing Christmas presents to schoolchildren on 17 December 1962.

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Prince Philippe and his younger sister, Princess Astrid (born in 1962), in 1963.

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The Liège Family enjoying a day at the beach in Forte de Marmi, Italy, in August 1964.

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The Liège Family posing for a photocall in April 1965. Prince Laurent, who was born in 1963, is pictured with the family.

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Prince Philippe, Prince Laurent, and Princess Astrid in 1965.

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Prince Philippe and Princess Astrid playing on a slide at Belvedere Palace, 1966.

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Princess Paola and her children on a farm in 1967.

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The Liège Family on vacation in the Caps d’Antibes, France, on 5 July 1968.

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The Liège Family in June 1969.

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Prince Philippe, with his uncle King Baudouin, visiting Coxyde, at the Dune Abbaye, in 1971.

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Prince Albert and Prince Philippe at the Fine Arts Centre in Brussels, 1972.

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When Prince Philippe turned 18 in 1978, he began studying at the Belgian Royal Military Academy.



About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.