Friday, June 5, 2009

Birthday of Princess Astrid

Today is the birthday of Princess Astrid of Belgium, the second child and only daughter of reigning King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians. She was born June 5, 1962, and named after her grandmother, the legendary Queen Astrid. After completing high school in Brussels, she spent a year in Leiden studying art history. She later attended the Institute of European Studies, in Geneva, and also studied in the United States, in Michigan.  

On September 22, 1984, Princess Astrid married Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-d'Este. In 1995, a royal decree made Astrid's husband a Prince of Belgium. The couple have five children, ranging from ages 23 to 6: Amedeo, Maria Laura, Joachim, Luisa Maria, and Laetitia Maria. 

Princess Astrid devotes her time to a number of medical, humanitarian, and social causes. From 1994-2007, she served as Chairwoman of the Belgian Red Cross. She is also the Honorary Chairwoman of the Queen Elisabeth Medical Foundation and the European Organization on Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). Particularly concerned with the plight of victims of violence (whether in peace or in war), she is intensely engaged in the struggle to ban antipersonnel mines and cluster munition. She also supports various initiatives assisting disadvantaged groups. 

Since 1996, Princess Astrid has been a member of the Belgian Senate, as senator by right (a privilege of the royal princes). In 1997, she joined the Belgian Armed Forces; she is now a Colonel in the Medical Unit. 

I join all others in wishing Princess Astrid a very happy birthday!


Lucy said...

I know I've told you this before, but here I go again: I love this lady!!

May said...

She certainly is admirable, a good wife and mother and a beautiful, accomplished Princess.