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Philippe, Crown Prince of Belgium

Prince Philippe of Belgium (born 15 April 1960) is the eldest son and heir apparent of Albert II, King of the Belgians. His formal title is His Royal Highness Philippe Léopold Louis Marie, Prince of the Belgians, Duke of Brabant. His Dutch name is Filip Leopold Louis Marie.

He is married to Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz, daughter of a minor Belgian noble family, and they have two children: a daughter, Elisabeth, born 25 October 2001, who, thanks to an alteration of succession laws from eldest son to eldest child, will follow her father in the succession, and a son, Gabriël Boudewijn Karel Maria(Gabriel Baudouin Charles Marie), born 20 August, 2003.

The present Duchess of Brabant would become the first Belgian Queen to be born Belgian, when Philippe assumes the throne.

Recently, the Prince has been a target of criticism within Belgium for his political and social conservatism, and vocal detractors have called for him to step out of the line of succession to allow a more-liberal member of the royal family to take his place.

For some years, Philippe, though second-in-line to the throne, had been treated as being the Heir Presumptive of his childless uncle, King Baudouin. However on Baudouin's death, the first-in-line, the late King's brother, Albert, chose to become king himself. It is believed that Philippe's then unmarried status was the reason why his father opted unexpectedly to take the crown.