HRH Princess Astrid
The joint economic missions are presided over by HRH Princess Astrid, Representative of HM the King.
Princess Astrid of Belgium was born in Brussels on 5 June 1962. She is the second child of King Albert II and Queen Paola, and the sister of King Philippe.
At King Philippe’s request, Princess Astrid led the economic missions since October 2013. It is widely recognised that missions such as these have a positive impact on the development of economic and trade relations between Belgium and its regions and many overseas partners. They also enable bridges to be built between Belgian and foreign companies as well as between Belgian companies themselves.
As Honorary President of the Queen Elisabeth Medical Foundation (QEMF), the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Charitable Trust and the Science and Medical Funds of the King Baudouin Foundation, Princess Astrid also works to support basic medical research in various fields.
She is also involved in the fight against epidemics and pandemics, most notably as a Special Representative of the “Roll Back Malaria” (RBM) partnership for combating malaria. The Princess also works with victims of violence, in particular within the context of initiatives against antipersonnel mines.
Princess Astrid is an honorary member of the Management Committee of the International Paralympics Committee. She is also the honorary president of the non-profit association Action Damien.
Princess Astrid gives particular attention to those in society who are at risk of falling through the cracks in social support structures. She supports initiatives to help the poorest, particularly single mothers and the undereducated.
Princess Astrid is on the lookout for new initiatives by other associations with a humanitarian focus in Belgium and abroad.
On 20 June 2013, the Secretariat of the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines announced that Princess Astrid, in her capacity as Special Envoy representing the Convention, would from then on form part of a working group which will endeavour to promote, at diplomatic level, the signing of the Treaty by states that have not yet signed up to the Convention.
Since 22 November 1996, Princess Astrid has held a seat in the Senate as a senator by right. She has been a member of the armed forces since 22 May 1997 and is a colonel in the Medical Corps.
The Princess is an ever-present participant in all public engagements expected of the Royal Family.
Princess Astrid studied art history in Leiden, in the Netherlands. She completed her education in Geneva, at the European Institute, and in Michigan in the United States.
On 22 September 1984, Princess Astrid married Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este, in Brussels, who became Prince of Belgium in 1995. The Prince was born in Boulogne-Billancourt on 16 December 1955.
The princely couple has five children, all born in Belgium: Amedeo (21 February 1986), Maria Laura (26 August 1988), Joachim (9 December 1991), Luisa Maria (11 October 1995) and Laetitia Maria (23 April 2003).
© Photo Credit - FPS Chancery of the Prime Minister-Directorate-General External Communication-Belgium- Photographer: Shimera-Ansotte
The missions presided over by HRH Princess Astrid, Representative of HM the King