03 July 2013

King Albert II of Belgium set to Abdicate!

You know what this means? Queen Mathilde! And King Philippe, I guess, but he's not nearly as attractive as Mathilde. Here's the full story from the BBC News site:

Belgian state TV reported that the 79-year-old monarch would make an announcement on all of the major networks at 17:00 BST.

His son, Crown Prince Philippe, 53, is next in line to the throne.

During Belgium's political deadlock in 2010-11, the king - who is due to mark 20 years on the throne next month - took on the role of mediator.

Media reports say he will announce his abdication to take effect on Belgium's national day on 21 July.
King Albert met the Belgian government's cabinet earlier on Wednesday to inform them of his decision, Belgian state TV reported.

The palace said in a statement: "The core council of ministers has convened in the presence of the king. The king will speak to the people at 1800 (1600 GMT) via a radio and television address."
Following the king's announcement, Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo will address the nation.
King Albert was sworn in as the sixth king of the Belgians on 9 August 1993, following the death of his brother, King Baudouin aged 62.

Like other European monarchies, the Belgian monarch has no executive powers and plays a largely ceremonial role. King Albert's abdication would come only three months after Queen Beatrix of the neighbouring Netherlands vacated the Dutch throne in favour of her son Willem-Alexander.