Skip to main content

Belgian king abdicating throne

By CNN Staff
July 3, 2013 -- Updated 2020 GMT (0420 HKT)
King Albert II of Belgium announced Wednesday, July 3, that he will abdicate the throne on July 21. His son, Crown Prince Philippe, will succeed him. Here the king attends a tribute to the unknown soldier on November 11, 2012, in Brussels, Belgium. King Albert II of Belgium announced Wednesday, July 3, that he will abdicate the throne on July 21. His son, Crown Prince Philippe, will succeed him. Here the king attends a tribute to the unknown soldier on November 11, 2012, in Brussels, Belgium.
HIDE CAPTION
King Albert II of Belgium to abdicate
King Albert II of Belgium to abdicate
King Albert II of Belgium to abdicate
King Albert II of Belgium to abdicate
King Albert II of Belgium to abdicate
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • King Albert II's abdication will be effective on July 21
  • His son Crown Prince Philippe will succeed him
  • European Commission president praises King Albert in a statement

(CNN) -- King Albert II of Belgium is abdicating his throne, effective July 21, he announced Wednesday.

His son Crown Prince Philippe will succeed him, he said in a nationally televised address.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso issued a statement about the move.

"It is with deep emotion that I hear the announcement of the abdication of His Majesty King Albert II. On behalf of the European Commission and on my own behalf, I wish to express to him my sincere thanks for his tireless efforts in the service of Belgium and Europe," the statement read.

Throughout his 20-year reign, Albert "has never ceased to be a staunch defender of the values that are the basis of the European construction," the statement said.

Willem-Alexander takes Dutch throne after mother abdicates

Opinion: Why Queen Elizabeth won't step down

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0023 GMT (0823 HKT)
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0823 GMT (1623 HKT)
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1652 GMT (0052 HKT)
CNN's Will Ripley travels to North Korea, visiting an international wrestling festival and a slide-filled water park.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 0920 GMT (1720 HKT)
Our whole solar system appears to be inside a searing gas bubble, scientists say.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
In a raid on a luxury apartment complex, agents caught up with a French-Algerian man they accuse of bringing back terror to Europe.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 0002 GMT (0802 HKT)
One journalist murdered, another still being held by ISIS -- a ransom negotiator talks to CNN about trying to get a hostage home alive.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1228 GMT (2028 HKT)
Was a police officer justified in shooting and killing Michael Brown?
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 1654 GMT (0054 HKT)
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
South Africa Music Legends stamps
Artist Hendrik Gericke puts a spotlight on iconic performers from South Africa in these incredible monochrome illustrations.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0946 GMT (1746 HKT)
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT