facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Belgium's King Albert II abdicates throne

July 21, 2013 at 9:20 AM   |   Comments

BRUSSELS, July 21 (UPI) -- Crown Prince Philippe was sworn in as king of Belgium Sunday in Brussels, officials said.

His father, Albert II, abdicated the throne over concerns about his age and health, CNN reported.

"I have noticed how my age and my health have not permitted me to exercise my duties the way I would like to," Albert, 79, said in an address to the nation.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso issued a statement praising Albert's decision to step down.

"I wish to express to him my sincere thanks for his tireless efforts in the service of Belgium and Europe," the statement said. Albert "has never ceased to be a staunch defender of the values that are the basis of the European construction."

Along with a new king, Belgium also gained a queen Sunday in Philippe's wife, Mathilde.

Phillipe, 53, attended public schools in Belgium's two major languages, Flemish and French, and later studied at the royal military academy, where he trained to be a fighter pilot.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Stratosphere crash driver commits suicide Stratosphere crash driver commits suicide
2
U.S. intercepts two Russian fighter jets near Alaska
3
New York buses will feature anti-Islam ads depicting James Foley New York buses will feature anti-Islam ads depicting James Foley
4
Sister shoots and kills brother to protect father Sister shoots and kills brother to protect father
5
Five men escape jail near Fresno, Calif. Five men escape jail near Fresno, Calif.
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback