Belguim’s King, Albert II, has announced his abdication. Albert, 79, gave a nationally televised address after many speculations that he would be stepping down in favor of his son, Crown Prince Philippe, 53.
Speculations on his abdication
His abdication coincides with the nation’s Independence Day celebration for the kingdom of 10.5 million people. He is the first of the six kings in Belgium history to give up the throne.
He said the reason is his health, adding it is no longer enough to fulfill his responsibilities. He would step down the throne after around 20 years.
Giving up the throne to his son
King Albert was sworn in as the sixth monarch of Belgium in August 1993. His time to work on the throne followed the death of his brother, King Baudouin, at the age of 62.
King Albert stated that his age and health are no longer in a position to do his duties as he would like to. He highlighted in his address that Crown Prince Philippe is well prepared to succeed him.
King Albert’s abdication comes after Queen Beatrix of neighboring Netherlands gave up the Dutch throne in favor of her son.