To celebrate Prince Emmanuel's 18th birthday, Belgium's royal family has released new photos, including a heartwarming father-son picture featuring King Philippe. These portraits were captured by Bas Bogaerts at the official residence of the royal family, Laeken Palace, situated in Brussels. In the photographs, Prince Emmanuel is seen donning a navy suit with a red tie, exuding a formal demeanor as he gazes directly into the camera in one image and displaying a more relaxed and joyful expression in another. The third photo showcases King Philippe, who is 63 years old, wearing a navy suit and looking upon his son with pride.
Prince Emmanuel, born on October 4, 2005, is the youngest child of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde. The Belgian monarchs are also parents to Princess Elisabeth, who will turn 22 on October 25, Prince Gabriel, aged 20, and Princess Eleonore, who is 15 years old. Currently, Prince Emmanuel is a student at the International School of Brussels, where he is pursuing his international baccalaureate.
The youthful member of the royal family is proficient in three languages: French, Dutch, and English. As stated in his biography on the palace's official website, he has a deep passion for various activities, including skiing, tennis, windsurfing, running, and even playing the saxophone.
Furthermore, the prince, who is likely to undertake royal duties in the future, actively participates in volunteer work. According to the palace's statement: “During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prince engaged in numerous telephone conversations with elderly individuals residing in care facilities who were experiencing isolation, offering them support and encouragement. Additionally, he has been dedicated to a youth organization for several years.”
The palace has not yet disclosed Prince Emmanuel's future plans, but it is probable that he will follow the path of his father and older siblings by enrolling in military training.
Princess Elisabeth, the heir to the Belgian throne, is currently pursuing a degree in History and Politics at Lincoln College, Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Prince Gabriel is dedicated to his studies in social and military sciences at the Royal Military Academy in Brussels. Meanwhile, Princess Eleonore, who recently accompanied her mother Queen Mathilde to a public event at the opera, is also a student at the International School of Brussels.
The Belgian royal family commemorated King Philippe's tenth year of reign during the summer. King Philippe assumed the throne on July 21, 2013, following his father King Albert II's abdication due to health-related reasons.
He is the eldest child of King Albert II and Queen Paola, who are also the mother and father of Princess Astrid, aged 61, and Prince Laurent, aged 59. Philippe also possesses a half-sister named Delphine Boël, who was awarded the Princess of Belgium title in October 2020 after a legal dispute.