King Albert of Belgium's hospital stay extended

King Albert of Belgium's hospital stay extended

June 29, 2023

King Albert of Belgium’s hospital stay is extended after 89-year-old was admitted earlier this week with dehydration

  • The former King of Belgium abdicated in 2013 so his son Phillipe could rule 
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King Albert of Belgium will remain in hospital until next week as he recovers from dehydration, a Palace spokesperson has said. 

The former monarch, 89, was admitted to Saint-Luc hospital in Brussels on 27 June as a ‘precautionary measure’.

On Wednesday, the Palace said that the ex-King – who abdicated in 2013 – was only expected to remain under medical care for a couple of days.

However, a statement released by the Palace has announced that Albert will spend the weekend in hospital.

The medical team at the hospital are hopeful that they will be able to discharge Albert early next week, a spokesperson told Belgium-based Belga News Agency.

King Albert of Belgium – who abdicated in 2013 – pictured in 2019. The ex-King is currently in hospital in Brussels

King Albert and his wife of 64 years Queen Paola, 85, were staying at their official residence Castle Belvédère in Laeken when the former monarch began showing signs of dehydration. 

Albert’s son King Philippe cancelled his planned engagement at the University of Ghent in order to visit his father in the hospital, according to People.

Other relatives including Prince Laurent, King Albert’s younger son, and Prince Emmanuel were reportedly spotted arriving at the Saint-Luc hospital in Brussels to be by his side.

Albert II, the father of Belgium’s current King Philippe, was the third and youngest child of King Leopold III. 

He became monarch on August 9, 1993 at the age of 59, taking over after his brother Baudouin died without children. 

At the time of his abdication his love child Princess Delphine launched a legal bid to be officially recognised as Albert’s daughter – which she won in October 2020. 

After Princess Delphine was born in 1968, the King initially remained in frequent contact with his child and her mother. But when Delphine reached her 16th birthday, the King began to distance himself.

Now the 55-year-old has the right to bear the royal name de Saxe-Cobourg and is formally recognised as a member of the Belgian royal family as are her two children Princess Joséphine of Belgium, 19, and Prince Oscar of Belgium, 14, who she shares with partner James O’Hare.

Pictured: King Albert his wife of 64 years Queen Paola at the wedding of Prince Willem-Alexander and his Argentine bride Maxima Zorreguieta in 2002

Prince Emmanuel was spotted arriving at the Saint-Luc hospital in Brussels to be by the former King’s side

The ex-king, 89, ‘was admitted to hospital as a precautionary measure,’ the spokesman, Xavier Vaert, told AFP, confirming reports by state broadcasters VRT and RTBF. Pictured, the entrance of the Saint-Luc hospital in Brussels

Speaking to Tatler last year, the princess, who is an artist, revealed her father’s rejection when she was young still hurts, but added she doesn’t blame him and holds no ill-will towards him. 

She argued that royal life is ‘isolating’ and she believed her father had been badly advised at the time.

However, she said: ‘You don’t just have a child and kick it.’

Reflecting on her seven-year legal battle, Delphine said the action she brought was not about money or status but ‘principles’.

Albert’s son King Philippe cancelled his planned engagement at the University of Ghent in order to visit his father in the hospital. Pictured in Brussels last week

Pictured: Jim O’Hare and Princess Delphine of Belgium at the 5th Canneseries Festival in April 2022

Now Delphine has attended royal engagements and says her relationship with her father has healed after years of bitterness.

When she launched her legal action in 2013, she told Belgian radio show Matin Premiere: ‘I feel like I have a right to exist. Not to exist in the royal family but as me.

‘My decision to call for help through the law, I feel today that it was the right thing to do… The judicial system said that I was right and that I had the right to exist.’

Since the legal action has been settled, Princess Delphine has slowly become integrated in the Belgian royal family.

She met her brother, King Philippe of Belgium who is one of 20 Belgian royals she is related to – in 2020, where they posted a socially distanced picture to Facebook, describing it as a ‘warm meeting.’ Her other royal half-siblings are Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent.

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