Princess Maria Laura of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este

Princess Maria Laura
Princess of Belgium,
Archduchess of Austria-Este (more)
Born (1988-08-26) 26 August 1988
Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Woluwe-St-Lambert, Belgium
Full name
Maria Laura Zita Beatrix Gerhard
House Austria-Este
Father Archduke Lorenz of Austria-Este
Mother Princess Astrid of Belgium
Styles of
Princess Maria Laura of Belgium
Reference style Her Imperial and Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Imperial and Royal Highness
Alternative style Madame

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este (Maria Laura Zita Beatrix Gerhard, born 26 August 1988[1][2]) is the second child and oldest daughter of Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este and Princess Astrid of Belgium. She was born at the University Clinic St. Luc, Woluwe-St-Lambert, Belgium and is currently seventh in line to the Belgian throne.


Maria Laura has one older brother, Amedeo (b. 1986), one younger brother, Joachim (b. 1991) and two younger sisters: Luisa Maria (b. 1995) and Laetitia Maria (b. 2003). Her godparents are her paternal uncle Archduke Gerhard of Austria-Este and her elder paternal aunt Archduchess Maria Beatrix of Austria-Este, Countess von und zu Arco-Zinneberg.


Maria Laura was raised until 1993 in Basel, Switzerland, at which point her parents relocated to Belgium. She was educated, like her siblings and younger cousins, at the Jesuit school College Sint Jan Berchmans in Brussels. She completed her secondary education at the St. John's International School in Waterloo, Belgium, during which time she was involved in a minor accident (see below). She then went to London, and attended SOAS in London, where she studied Chinese. In 2007–2008, she spent time in China as part of her studies.[1] She then enrolled at the Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales in Paris in 2008, where she is still studying.[3]

The princess is fluent in French, Dutch, and German, the three official languages of Belgium, as well as English.

Mentions in the press

On 9 September 2005, Maria Laura, along with six other students, were riding home from St. John's International School in Waterloo when the bus collided into three cars and rolled over several times. All of the students managed to escape before the bus burst into flames. Maria Laura was unharmed but was taken to the hospital for observation and released to her parents after a few hours.[4]

Titles and styles

All the children of the Archduke of Austria-Este, Prince Lorenz, bear the title "Prince(ss) of Belgium" by Belgian Royal Decree of 2 December 1991, in addition to their traditional Austrian and other titles.



Princess Maria Laura of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este
Cadet branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine
Born: 26 August 1988
Lines of succession
Preceded by
Archduchess Anna Astrid of Austria-Este
Line of succession to the Belgian throne
8th position
Succeeded by
Prince Joachim
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