Paola Ruffo di CalabriaQueen Paola
was born on September 11
, in Italy, to Don Fulco of the Princes Ruffo di Calabria, Duke of Guardia Lombarda (1884-1946), and his wife, née Luisa Gazelli (1896-1989). She went to school in Rome. Her brother Augusto was killed during the Second World War.
Queen Paola married King Albert II of the Belgians (then Prince of Liège) in 1959. Queen Paola and King Albert had three children, Philippe, Duke of Brabant, Astrid, and Laurent.
Her Majesty enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. She speaks French, Italian, English, German, but little Flemish, for which she is often criticised.