Princess Astrid of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este

Princess Astrid
Princess of Belgium
Archduchess of Austria-Este

Princess Astrid making an address in Laos in 2009
Born (1962-06-05) 5 June 1962
Château de Belvédère, Laeken, Belgium
Spouse Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este (m. 1984)
Issue Prince Amedeo
Princess Maria Laura
Prince Joachim
Princess Luisa Maria
Princess Laetitia Maria
Full name
Astrid Joséphine-Charlotte Fabrizia Elisabeth Paola Marie
House Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Father King Albert II of the Belgians
Mother Princess Paola Ruffo di Calabria
Religion Roman Catholic

Princess Astrid of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este (born 5 June 1962), is the second child and only daughter of King Albert II and Queen Paola, and younger sister to the current Belgian monarch, King Philippe. She is also the wife of Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este, head of the Austria-Este branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.


Princess Astrid was born one day before her father's 28th birthday at the Château de Belvédère, near Laeken, and was named for her late paternal grandmother, Astrid of Sweden, the popular first wife of King Leopold III. Her godparents were her uncle Fabrizio, Prince Ruffo di Calabria-Santapau, 7th Duke di Guardia Lombarda, and her aunt Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg.

Marriage and issue

Princess Astrid married Archduke Lorenz of Austria-Este, the head of the Archducal House of Austria-Este, on 22 September 1984 at Brussels.[1][2] Lorenz is the eldest son of Robert, Archduke of Austria-Este (1915–1996), and his wife Princess Margherita of Savoy-Aosta (born in 1930).[2] Her husband was also created Prince of Belgium by Royal Decree on 27 November 1995.[2]

Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz have five children, who bear the title "Prince/Princess of Belgium" (in each of the three official languages) as members of the Belgian royal family and Archduke/Archduchess of Austria:[1][2]

Astrid is also godmother to Archduchess Marie-Christine of Austria, Prince Sébastien of Luxembourg and Prince Gaston of Orléans.

Royal role

Astrid was formerly President of the Belgian Red Cross,[2] a position which ended on 31 December 2007. She declined to stand again for election to the role in light of internal struggles in the organisation in reconciling its French-speaking and Flemish branches, each of which seeks greater autonomy. The princess is also a colonel in the Medical Component of the Belgian Armed Forces. Her official residence is the Royal Palace of Laeken on the edge of Brussels.[2]

She is a member of the Honorary Board of the International Paralympic Committee.[3]

Princess Astrid has been for many years a fierce advocate for landmine survivors rights, participating actively in the work of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, also known as the Ottawa Treaty, since Belgium joined in 1998. In 2013, the Princess was named Special Envoy of the Convention,[4] and has promoted the acceptance of a global ban on landmines and promoted the rights of survivors in various UN meetings.[4][5][6]

Upon her brother's ascension to the throne, Princess Astrid took on some duties previously conducted by Philippe as the Honorary chairman of the board of the Foreign Trade Agency with his wife, Queen Mathilde. Princess Astrid travelled to Angola, South Africa, India and Russia to promote Belgian trade.

Titles, styles and honours

Styles of
Princess Astrid,
Archduchess of Austria-Este
Reference style Her Imperial and Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Imperial and Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am



National Honours

Foreign Honours




1997 2003



  1. 1 2 Enache, Nicolas. La Descendance de Marie-Therese de Habsburg. ICC, Paris, 1996. pp. 44-45,50. French
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Furstlicher Hauser Bande XVI, C.A. Starke Verlag, Haus Osterreich, Limburg, 2001, pp. 91–92. German
  3. "Honorary Board". IPC.
  4. 1 2
  25. Le Soir, Article (French) announcing the rank
  26. Belgian Defense Website, Article evoking Princess Astrid & Prince Laurent
  27. Belgian Defense Website, Article evoking Princess Astrid, last section "Mon colonel !"


  1. She has held the title "Princess of Belgium" from birth under Belgian law. By marriage to an archduke of the house of Austria-Este, she gained, in addition to her native title, the style "Imperial and Royal Highness" and the title "Archduchess of Austria-Este". Upon her husband's succeeding to the headship of his house in 1996, as wife of the Archduke of Austria-Este, internationally or depending on the situation, she is also accorded the traditional title "Her Imperial and Royal Highness The Archduchess of Austria-Este" or, more formally, reflecting both her native and marital titles, is addressed as HI&RH Princess Astrid of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este. Her children by Archduke Lorenz bear the titles "Prince(ss) of Belgium" by Belgian decree of 2 December 1991, in addition to their Austrian titles borne by tradition, "Archduke/Archduchess of Austria".

External links

Princess Astrid of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este
Born: 5 June 1962
Belgian royalty
Preceded by
Princess Eléonore of Belgium
Line of succession to the Belgian throne
5th position
Succeeded by
Prince Amedeo of Belgium
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