Prince Philippe of Belgium will receive a salary increase from €923,000 to a gross annual sum of €11.5million when he ascends the throne on Sunday. King Albert II’s abdication means that when Philippe, 53, becomes Belgium’s seventh sovereign on 21 July his annual salary will mirror what his father was paid, while Albert’s salary will decrease to €9million.
Philippe’s aunt, Queen Fabiola, is also subject to a pay decrease following her nephew’s accession. Since the death of her husband, King Baudouin, in 1993. Fabiola had been receiving €1.5million per year which will now be cut to €461,500.
Philippe’s daughter, Princess Elisabeth, 11, who will become first in line to the throne on Sunday, will not receive a salary until she turns 18. On 25 October, 2019, when she ceases to be a minor, Crown Princess Elisabeth will be expected to have a salary of €923,000.
Princess Astrid, who is Philippe’s sister, will take on some of the duties previously conducted by the prince and his wife, Princess Mathilde. International trips to Angola, South Africa, India and Russie promoting Belgian trade will now be Astrid’s responsibility and she will receive a salary of €320,000.
Prince Laurent of Belguim, Astrid and Philippe’s brother, will be paid €307,000 and will similarly undertake engagements on behalf of the Belgian royal family.
The salary changes will be put into place when Philippe’s investiture on Sunday, which is the country’s national day.
King Albert II announced his abdication on 3 July after months of speculation that he might step down from the throne. Just a month after his 79th birthday, King Albert II made an announcement that he will abdicate on 21 July due to age and health reasons.
“Age and health no longer allow me to perform my duties,” he said. “After a 20-year reign, the time has come to pass the torch to the next generation.”
The historic moment will be marked the night before when the King will attend a traditional concert in the Palace of Fine Arts in Brussels, accompanied by the Belgian Royal family. The esteemed guests will then move on to one of the capital’s oldest quarters to enjoy a traditional ball.
The schedule of events is as follows:
9:30 am: Te Deum ceremony at the Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula in Brussels
11:15am: Abdication ceremony of King Albert II at the Royal Palace in Brussels
12:45pm: King Philippe is sworn in before the two chambers of the Belgian federal parliament at the Palace of the Nation
1:00 pm: The new King and Queen and the Royal Family greet the population from the balcony of the Royal Palace on Place des Palais
1:45 pm: The new King pays homage to the Unknown Soldier at the Congress Column
4:05 pm: King Philippe reviews the civil and military troops
5:00 pm: Civil and military parade on Place des Palais
7:00 pm: The new King and Queen attend the celebrations in the Parc de Bruxelles
11:00 pm: The Royal Family watches the firework display that will be launched from the Palace of the Academies on Place des Palais