Queen Paola of Belgium Turns 76

  September 12, 2013 at 12:20 pm by

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Queen Paola of Belgium turns 76 years old on September 11.

Queen Paola is the wife of King Albert II of Belgium, who recently abdicated in favour of their eldest son, Philipe.

Born Donna Paola Margherita Maria Antonia Consiglia Ruffo di Calabria in Italy in 1937, she is the youngest daughter of the Italian noble Prince & Princess Ruffo di Calabria. In 1958, she met the future King of Belgium in Rome and a year later the couple married.

Paola and Albert have three children: Philippe, King of the Belgians; Princess Astrid, Archduchess of Austria-Este; and Prince Laurent. In 1993, her husband became King of the Belgians upon the death of his older brother, Baudouin, with Paola as Queen-Consort.

Following the abdication of her husband in July this year, Belgium is unique in having three living Queens: Queen Mathilde, the wife of the present King, Queen Paola and Queen Fabiola, the widow of King Baudouin.

Both Albert and Paola retained their titles of King and Queen following the July abdication.

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