BRITISH ROYAL FAMILY at Baltimore in 1979
Prince Edward, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Philip, Queen Elisabeth II, Prince Andrew
King Albert II, Queen Paola
Belgium was recognised as an independent country in 1830 but the monarchy was established in 1831. Leopold I, prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, took the constitutional oath on 21 July 1831 to become the first King of the Belgians.
Under the hereditary constitutional monarchy system, the role and operation of Belgium’s institutions, including the monarchy, are governed by the Constitution. “Hereditary” means the royal office, as described in the Constitution, is earmarked solely for a descendent of the first King of the Belgians, Leopold I.
Bound by the Constitution above all other ideological and religious considerations, political opinions and debates and economic interests, the King acts as an arbiter and guardian of the country’s unity and independence.
King Albert II, sixth King of the Belgians, took the oath on 9 August 1993. He is married to Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria.
The King and Queen have three children: Prince Philippe, Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent.
Prince Philippe and his wife, Princess Mathilde, have four children: Princess Elisabeth, Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel and Princess Eléonore.
Princess Astrid and her husband Prince Lorenz, have five children: Prince Amedeo, Princess Maria Laura, Prince Joachim, Princess Luisa Maria and Princess Laetitia Maria.
Prince Laurent and his wife, Princess Claire, have a daughter, Princess Louise, and two sons, Prince Nicolas and Prince Aymeric.
The Royal House of Norway belongs to the House of Glücksburg. The members of the Norwegian Royal House are Their Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja and Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Princess Ingrid Alexandra.
Harald I was the son of one of Norway’s regional rulers, descended from Sweden’s Yngling royal family. He defeated the other rulers to unite the country and become its first king. The Hereditary Kingdom of Norway, established by at least three separate genealogical lines of monarchs each allegedly descending from Harald I the Fairhair, was the only realm of medieval Scandinavia which was officially hereditary, not elective.
After the death of Haakon V of Norway, the crown passed to his grandson Magnus IV of Sweden. In 1397, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden formed the Kalmar Union under Queen Margaret I of Denmark who was married to Haakon VI of Norway and Sweden. She unofficially ruled all three countries until her death.
Sweden seceded from the Kalmar Union ultimately in 1523. In 1469, the Norwegian king pledged Orkney and Shetland to the crown of Scotland as mortgage for a dowry debt. In 1814, Denmark ceded Norway (but not its dependencies Iceland, Greenland and the Faroese) to Sweden; in 1905, Norway became independent. Its new government offered the crown to Prince Carl, second son of Frederick VIII of Denmark. After being approved in a popular vote, Carl was crowned Haakon VII of Norway.
Norway is a constitutional monarchy.
The Royal wedding – August 25th 2001