König Albert II.
Belgium's King Albert II will abdicate. Newspapers and the news agency Belga consistently reports that Albert's abdication will be announced for 6 this evening, in a television address. The effective date is said to be the 21th July, the Belgian National Holiday.
By 3pm, the first breaking news was released by news agencies. The 79-year-old Albert had unexpectedly received key ministers of the country (kernkabinet) at the royal palace, say Le Soir and De Standaard in their online editions. At 5:30 the entire cabinet concluded, and by 6 O'clock, the King would abdicate on the four major TV channels and their radio stations to the public. After this, Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, should address the public. Philippe Albert's eldest son is heir apparent.
Albert's abdication is really not surprising. In recent months there had been repeated speculation about it. Albert II succeeded his older brother Baudouin in 1993 after his death, to the throne.
Compared with the glamorous royal families from Scandinavia and Britain, the public interest in Belgian monarchy is limited. This was true at least until a few weeks ago. Recently, however, a furor has been caused by the paternity suit of the 45-year-old artist Delphine Boël. She wishes to force the monarch by court proceedings to a DNA test. A first date being set for last week was postponed until the autumn.
The royal family is considered an important staple in the unstable country, at risk of dividing.
Link to Süddeutsche Zeitung...
Trans: Tancred email@example.com AMGD