close
This ad will auto close in 10 seconds

I intend to abdicate on July 21: Belgium`s King Albert II

Belgium`s King Albert II today announced his abdication in favour of his son Philippe after two decades at the helm of the tiny country.



Brussels: Belgium`s King Albert II today announced his abdication in favour of his son Philippe after two decades at the helm of the tiny country.

"I intend to abdicate on July 21," the sovereign said in a speech broadcast to the nation from the royal palace. "Prince Philippe is well prepared. He and Princess Mathilde have my entire confidence."

"So it is with serenity and confidence that I announce I intend to abdicate on July 21," he added.
In his short speech to the nation, read first in French then in Flemish, Belgium`s two main languages, the 79-year-old monarch said he was too tired and too frail to continue to reign.

"I am at an age never attained by predecessors," he said. "My age and my health do not allow me to exercise my duties as I would like."

As the second son of King Leopold III (1901-1983) and Astrid of Sweden (1905-1935), Albert was not destined to reign but was forced to ascend to the throne in 1993 on the death of his older brother King Baudouin, who passed away without an heir.

His decision to step down is the first abdication in the history of Belgium. The country gained independence from the Netherlands in 1831.
As monarch, Albert`s duties include representing Belgium at home and abroad on state visits, trade missions, and at high-level international meetings as well as taking an interest in Belgian society, culture and enterprise.
His son Philippe, 53, will be the seventh king from the house of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha -- now known simply as the royal house of Belgium -- to have headed the constitutional monarchy since independence.

AFP

From Zee News

0 Comment - Join the Discussions

trending

photo gallery

video


WION FEATURES

Video: Suspected Kashmiri militants play cricket with AK47 as wicket

Nice, France: A year later, through the eyes of a Muslim

Top 5 inventions from Israel (Tech check)

Judaism, India's oldest foreign religion

Vegetarian beef farmer puts cows to pasture

Disabled dogs in Taiwan get hot new wheels