The succession to the Belgian throne (A 100 things #16)

Now that we’ve had a Belgian abdication, and a new King of the Belgians, it is time to look at the Belgian line of succession.

Unlike in the Netherlands, the line of succession does not change overly much when the monarch ascends to the throne – everybody else just takes one jump ahead in the line at the same time.

The Belgian throne goes through the male-line descendant from Leopold I until Albert II, with those that have asked permission from the monarch for their marriage. Since women were also included in the line from 1991 when Belgium abolished the Salic law in the succession, it was mentioned that the King had given permission for Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz to marry, and Princess Astrid and her descendants jumped in between Prince Philippe and Prince Laurent in the line.

(There are voices that say that it was done in this way as King Baudouin did not want Prince Laurent to be as close to the throne as he was before 1991.)

To avoid all the offspring of the daughters of Belgian kings also inheriting the rights to the throne suddenly, it was added a codicil that the change first went in effect with Prince Astrid and her offspring. By the time the change came about, Princess Astrid and Princess Marie-Laura were the two first women with rights to the Belgian throne. When Princess Maria Louisa was born in 1995, she was the first Belgian princess who was born with rights to the Belgian throne.

After 1991, women have equal rights as men to the throne,  and since last Sunday, 12 year old Princess Elisabeth has held the title the Duchess of Brabant and is the first in line.

Should the King die while she is still under the age of 18, and a minor, the Belgian government will approve a regent. (Although, for the Belgian government to agree on anything can take time, as we’ve seen in the past, so Elisabeth could well reach the age of 18 before that happens.)

1. Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant (2001)

2. Prince Gabriel (2003)

3. Prince Emmanuel (2005)

4. Princess Eleonore (2008)

5. Princess Astrid (1962)

6. Prince Amedeo (1986)

7. Princess Maria-Laura (1988)

8. Prince Joachim (1991)

9. Princess Maria Luisa (1995)

11. Princess Laetitia Maria (2003)

12. Prince Laurent (1963)

13. Princess Louise (2004)

14. Prince Nicolas (2005)

15. Prince Aymeric (2005)



By Anne

Anne is a librarian by day. By night, she reads. She knits. She watches movies and television shows. She enjoys board games. And posting on royal related forums.

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