Laurent of Belgium

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Prince Laurent of Belgium

Prince Laurent Benoît Baudouin Marie of Belgium (Dutch: Laurens Benedikt Boudewijn Maria ) (born October 19, 1963 at Château du Belvédère in Brussels , Belgium ) is a member of the Belgian royal family from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha . He is a member of the Belgian Senate , the second chamber of parliament.


Belgian royal family
State Coat of Arms of Belgium.svg

SM King Philippe
IM Queen Mathilde

SM King Albert II.
IM Queen Paola

Laurent is the youngest of three children of the Belgian King Albert II (born June 6, 1934) and his wife Queen Paola (born September 11, 1937), the youngest daughter of Prince Fulco Ruffo di Calabria and Countess Luisa Gazelli. His paternal grandparents were King Leopold III. and the Swedish princess Astrid . He has two older siblings, the reigning King Philippe (born April 15, 1960) and Princess Astrid (born June 5, 1962).


Prince Laurent attended Pius X College in Antwerp (language of instruction is Dutch ) and the Royal Cadet School in Laeken / Laken (language of instruction is French ). He then attended the Royal Military School , where he received the academic training reserved for officers of the armed forces . After completing this degree, he decided, like his father before him, to serve in the Navy . In September 1985 the prince was made lieutenant at sea and in 1994 he was promoted to frigate captain. After completing his naval training, Laurent completed practical training in various private companies in the pharmaceutical, aerospace and leisure sectors in the United States . This was followed by internships at the International Monetary Fund , the World Bank and the United Nations as part of development and environmental programs (UNDP).

marriage and family

On April 12, 2003, Prince Laurent married in Brussels the commoner Claire Louise Coombs (born January 18, 1974 in Bath ), daughter of the British businessman Nicholas Coombs and his Belgian wife Nicole Mertens. Three children were born from their marriage:

  • Louise Sophie Mary (born February 6, 2004 in Brussels)
  • Nicolas Casimire Marie (born December 13, 2005 in Brussels)
  • Aymeric Auguste Marie (born December 13, 2005 in Brussels)


The Belgians nicknamed Prince Laurent Prince Full Throttle in the 1980s , in reference to his passion for fast cars and the numerous parking tickets that his hobby had earned him so far. The prince kept making headlines for speeding. He received a warning in Washington, DC , and was spotted at 220 km / h on a Belgian motorway. In 1999 and 2000 he was flashed in Brussels at 146 km / h in a 50 km / h and 137 km / h in a 70 km / h zone. On February 16, 2011, his driver's license was finally taken away because he drove through a 50 km / h zone in Ixelles at 82 km / h.

In 2004, the prince wanted to use his friend Cyrus Reza Pahlavi , the son of the last Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi , as a godparent for his daughter Louise. For one thing, this was not possible due to canon law , since Pahlavi is a Muslim . On the other hand, the idea sparked rejection from the Iranian government, which led to a brief cooling of diplomatic relations. After all, Pahlavi did not become a godfather. At the baptism on September 4, 2004, the godmothers Margaretha von Luxemburg, the daughter of Grand Duke Jean of Luxemburg and wife of Prince Nikolaus von Liechtenstein , and Marie-Claude Solvay, née. Boulin present.

In 2007 the prince was accused of being involved in an infidelity scandal. In 1998 and 1999, the Belgian Navy embezzled 2.2 million euros . One of the perpetrators was an advisor to the prince. 185,000 euros of the misappropriated amount went into the renovation of Villa Tervuren, which the prince lives and is owned by a royal foundation. The prince had to testify as a witness against his financial advisor in the criminal trial and stated that he had no knowledge of the illegal origin of the money. The prince's advisor who embezzled the money was sentenced to prison. The king repaid the money wrongly received to the navy.

In July 2017, Laurent of Belgium attended a reception in uniform on the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Chinese People's Liberation Army at the Chinese Embassy in Brussels without the government's approval . A sanction procedure initiated by Prime Minister Charles Michel in consultation with King Philippe and confirmed by Parliament led to a one-off reduction in annual salaries by 15% (around 46,000 euros). Laurent of Belgium then drew a comparison with the Holocaust . He submitted an objection to the State Council.

Official duties and succession to the throne

Public Offices and Charity

Until his brother's accession to the throne, Prince Laurent was the son of the monarch (like his two siblings) and was legally a member of the Belgian Senate . He has long been committed to environmental and monument protection in Belgium. He is also honorary chairman of the Belgian National Orchestra and chairman of two foundations. One of them is dedicated to animal welfare.

Succession to the throne

Before the constitution was amended in 1994, Prince Laurent was second in line to the Belgian throne . Meanwhile, the female members of the royal family enjoy the same rights as the male. He is currently in eleventh place, followed by his three children.

Honors, medals and offices

See also


  • Laurent of Belgium: De hond as gids in de kunst en in de stad . Gemeentekrediet, Brussels 1996.
  • Joke Vanhaeren: Laurent - Prins op overschot . Standaard Uitgeverij, Brussels 2003.

Individual evidence

  1. Le prince Laurent privé de son permis de conduire - RTL info
  2. Le prince Laurent privé de son permis de conduire -
  3. Louise . In: Der Spiegel . No. 39 , 2004 ( online ).
  4. Web Aachener Zeitung
  5. Prince Laurent of Belgium Testifies in marine fraud case - Wikinews, the free news source
  6. Prince Laurent - confidante must go to prison - from all over the world - Hamburger Abendblatt
  7. Heike Klovert: Because visiting Chinese Embassy Belgium shortens income of Prince Laurent. In: Spiegel Online . March 31, 2018, accessed October 1, 2018 .
  8. A tough statement: Belgium's Prince Laurent shocks with a comparison of Jews. In: . June 22, 2018, accessed October 1, 2018 .
  9. Procedure: Prince Laurent moves to the Council of State to reduce his budget. In: Grenz-Echo . July 20, 2018, accessed October 1, 2018 .
  10. ^ The Belgian Monarchy: Home - Royal Family - Prince Laurent

Web links