King Albert II, sixth King of the Belgians, has announced his intention to abdicate. The reason cited is the king’s poor health in recent years.
Albert and his elder brother, the late King Baudoin, are sons of King Leopold III and his first wife, Astrid of Sweden. Baudoin succeeded Leopold as king, reigning 42 years.
Baudoin died of heart failure on July 31, 1993. He and his wife, Queen Fabiola, had no children during their marriage, so upon his death the throne went to Albert.
King Albert is married to Queen Paola, formerly Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria. They have three children: Prince Philippe, Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent, and several grandchildren.
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