Queen Mathilde of Belgium

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Mathilde
MJK54509 Mathilde of Belgium (Frankfurt Book Fair 2017).jpg
Queen Mathilde in 2017
Queen consort of the Belgians
Tenure 21 July 2013 – present
Born Jonkvrouw Mathilde Marie Christine Ghislaine d'Udekem d'Acoz
(1973-01-20) 20 January 1973 (age 45)
Uccle, Brussels, Belgium
Spouse
Issue
House d'Udekem d'Acoz
Father Count Patrick d'Udekem d'Acoz
Mother Countess Anna Maria Komorowska

Queen Mathilde of Belgium (born Jonkvrouw Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz on 20 January 1973) is the wife of King Philippe, who ascended the throne following the abdication of his father, King Albert II, on 21 July 2013. She is the first Belgian-born Queen of the Belgians.

Early life and family

Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz was born on 20 January 1973 in Ukkel, Belgium. Mathilde is the oldest of five children. The d'Udekem d'Acoz family were of aristocratic origins; her grandfather and her uncle were barons while she and her father were a part of the untitled nobility. Mathilde grew up at the family estate, Losange Castle in Villers-la-Bonne-Eau [fr], Bastogne.

Mathilde's father was Count (formerly Jonkheer) Patrick d'Udekem d'Acoz (Uccle, 28 April 1936 – Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, 25 September 2008), son of Baron Charles d'Udekem d'Acoz (Ghent, 8 March 1885 – Proven, 7 December 1968), who was of Belgian noble ancestry; her mother is Countess Anna Maria Komorowska (born 24 September 1946 in Białogard, Poland), daughter of Count Leon Michael Komorowski (Siedliska, 14 August 1907 – 1992) and Polish Princess Zofia María Sapieha of Krasiczyn, Clan Lis (Bobrek, 10 October 1919 – Herstal, 14 August 1997). The Komorowski family is well known for Count Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski (1895–1966), Polish Commander-in-Chief and Prime Minister of the Polish government-in-exile and for former President of Poland Bronisław Komorowski.

Upon her marriage to Prince Philippe of Belgium, the Duke of Brabant in 1999, King Albert II of Belgium elevated the family d'Udekem d'Acoz from the baronial to the comital rank, hereditary in the male lineage. Upon the accession of her husband, Prince Philippe, Duke of Brabant to the throne of Belgium she became the first Belgian queen consort of native Belgian nationality.[1]

Education

Mathilde attended primary school in Bastogne.[2] Mathilde attended secondary school at the Institut de la Vierge Fidèle in Brussels. She then studied speech therapy at the Institut libre Marie Haps in Brussels from 1991 to 1994 and earned a diploma with high honours (magna cum laude).

Mathilde then worked as a speech therapist in her own practice in Brussels from 1995 to 1999. She also studied psychology at the Université catholique de Louvain and earned a master's degree in psychology in 2002 with honours (cum laude).

She speaks French, Dutch, English and Italian. Her mother, who spent most of her life outside of Poland, did not teach her Polish, thinking that it would not be necessary. Therefore, Mathilde knows only a few words in Polish.[3]

Marriage and children

The announcement of Mathilde's engagement to the Belgian heir-apparent Prince Philippe came as a surprise to the country. Mathilde married Philippe on 4 December 1999 in Brussels, civilly at the Brussels Town Hall and religiously at the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula. Mathilde's bridal gown was designed by Édouard Vermeulen. She was made Duchess of Brabant and a Princess of Belgium on 8 November 1999 (published on 13 November 1999 and effective from 4 December 1999).

Queen Mathilde alongside Prince Emmanuel and Princess Eléonore

The couple have four children:

Princess Elisabeth, the couple's eldest child, is the first in line to the throne and ahead of her younger brothers and sister, who are second, third, and fourth in line to succeed, owing to a change in Belgian succession laws in 1991, allowing for the eldest child to succeed, regardless of gender.

Activities

Queen Mathilde is concerned with a range of social issues including education, child poverty, intergenerational poverty, the position of women in society and literacy.[4]

Since 2009, Queen Mathilde has been the honorary president of Unicef Belgium.[5] She serves as the World Health Organization’s Special Representative for Immunization.[6] She also the honorary president of the Breast International Group, a non-profit organisation for academic breast cancer research groups from around the world.[7]

She set up the Princess Mathilde Fund (now the Queen Mathilde Fund) in 2001, which promotes the care of vulnerable people and awards an annual prize for good works in a particular sector.[8] The sector changes each year: examples include early years education, women's health, and protecting young people from violence.[9]

Queen Mathilde deploys the Queen's Charities to offer help to citizens who are struggling to cope with financial hardship in their daily lives and often turn to her as a last resort.[10] The Queen is honorary president of Child Focus, foundation for missing and sexually exploited children.[11]

Since 2014, Queen Mathilde has given her patronage to the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition, an international competition founded in 1937 as an initiative of Queen Elisabeth and Belgian composer and violist Eugène Ysaÿe.[12]

In 2018, Queen Mathilde became the Honorary President of the Federal Council for Sustainable Development. According to the royal tradition, Queen Mathilde became an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium.[13]

Queen Mathilde is a member of the Schwab Foundation Board for Social Entrepreneurship. She was a United Nations Emissary for the International Year of Microcredit 2005, which focused in particular on financial inclusion and financial literacy. The Queen also attends the annual World Economic Forum in Davos.[14]

Queen Mathilde was named a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Advocate in 2016, promoting the 2030 Agenda for global sustainable development.[15]

Honours

National

Foreign

Arms

Alliance Coat of Arms of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde.svg
Alliance Coat of Arms of King Philippe
and Queen Mathilde
Dual Cypher of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians.svg
Dual Cypher of King Philippe
and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians
Wapen van de familie d'Udekem d'Acoz.svg
Coat of arms of the House of d'Udekem d'Acoz
Blason Udekem d'Acoz.svg
Coat of arms of Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz

References

  1. ^ Her predecessors were, in order of succession, French, Austrian, German, Swedish, Spanish, and Italian.
  2. ^ "Queen Mathilde of Belgium". Unofficial Royalty.
  3. ^ "Królowa polsko-belgijska". Wprost.Pl (in Polish). Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  4. ^ "The Queen". The Belgian Monarchy Official Website.
  5. ^ "The Queen". The Belgian Monarchy Official Website.
  6. ^ "Princess Mathilde of Belgium to visit Albania as WHO special representative: focus on frontline health workers and immunization". Euro.who.int. 21 March 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  7. ^ "The Queen". The Belgian Monarchy Official Website.
  8. ^ "The Belgian Monarchy". Monarchie.be. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ "The Queen". The Belgian Monarchy Official Website.
  11. ^ "The Queen". The Belgian Monarchy Official Website.
  12. ^ "The Queen". The Belgian Monarchy Official Website.
  13. ^ "The Queen". The Belgian Monarchy Official Website.
  14. ^ "The Queen". The Belgian Monarchy Official Website.
  15. ^ https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sdgadvocates/
  16. ^ "Photographic image : Queen Mathilde of Belgium" (JPG). C7.alamy.com. Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  17. ^ "The Royal Watcher : Photo". Royalwatcher.tumblr.com. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  18. ^ "HELLO! Special Zoom". Hellomagazine.com. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  19. ^ "Photographic image : Queen Mathilde of Belgium with King William of the netherlands" (JPG). C7.alamy.com. Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  20. ^ "Finnish President Visit To Belgium – Day One Photos and Images". Getty Images. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  21. ^ "Photographic image : Queen Mathilde of Belgium" (JPG). 4.bp.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  22. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). 1.bp.blogpsot.com. Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  23. ^ "Archives – sudinfo.be". Sudpresse.be. 2010-06-14. Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  24. ^ "Belga Image – Editorial". Portal.belgaimage.be. Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  25. ^ "Belga Image – Editorial". Potal.belgaimage.be. Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  26. ^ "Nuevo duelo de reinas: una Rania muy demodé no puede con una Matilde sublime. Noticias de Casas Reales". Vanitatis.elconfidencial.com. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  27. ^ "Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembou Photos and Images". Getty Images. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  28. ^ "Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembou Photos and Images". Getty Images. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  29. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). I.dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  30. ^ "Dutch Royal State Visit To Belgium". Getty Images. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  31. ^ "Norwegian State Visit To Belgium". Getty Images. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  32. ^ "Long Live all the magic we made". Pinterest.com. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  33. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). 2.bp.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  34. ^ "The Belgian Monarchy". Monarchie.be. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  35. ^ http://isap.sejm.gov.pl/DetailsServlet?id=WMP20050090162
  36. ^ Vanitatis
  37. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). 3.bp.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  38. ^ "Crown Prince Philippe and Crown Princess Mathilde – Picture Thread – Page 6 – The Royal Forums". Theroyalforums.com. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  39. ^ "Photographic image : Queen Mathilde of Belgium Arrives at the Royal Apalce" (JPG). C7.alamy.com. Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  40. ^ "Photographic image : Crown Princess Mathilde of Belgium and Princess Letizia of Spain" (JPG). C7.alamy.com. Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  41. ^ "Photographic image : Queen Mathilde of Belgium" (JPG). C7.alamy.com. Retrieved 2016-10-23.

External links

  • Official biography from the Belgian Royal Family website
Queen Mathilde of Belgium
Born: 20 January 1973
Belgian royalty
Preceded by
Paola Ruffo di Calabria
Queen consort of the Belgians
2013 – present
Incumbent

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