The monarch is preparing for the abdication of his throne, giving way to his son, Prince Philip, to assume the crown of the country this July 21, exactly on Independence day.
The monarch, 79, claims to step aside and inherit the throne to his son, 53, after ensuring that because of his age and fragil medical condition, he’s unable to exercise his royal functions.
“After a reign of 20 years I think it’s time to pass the torch to the next generation (…) Prince Phillip is well prepared to succeed me,” said the king through a speech to the Belgian people.
Since independence in 1830, Belgium has had six kings. Alberto is the first to voluntarily abdicates. In 1993 had succeeded his brother, the devout Catholic King Baldwin, who had no children.
Albert II joins Beatrix of the Netherlands, which last April Dutch ceded his throne to his son William