|Belgium will have two queens and three queens by the time Crown Prince |
Philippe ascends the throne on July 21. Image credit: Reuters
The abdication of King Albert II will give Belgium more living kings and queens that any other countries in the world. Unlike the neighboring kingdom of the Netherlands, in Belgium, a former reigning sovereign gets to keep his title. This was not the case for Queen Beatrix. When she abdicated in April, she ceased from being Queen, but reverted to her former title as a Princess of the Netherlands.
So, that makes King Albert still a king, but the real, reigning sovereign and head of state would be his son and successor, King Philippe.
Belgium will also have three queens: the new Queen Consort, Mathilde; Queen Paola, King Albert's wife; and Queen Fabiola, widow of King Baudouin, who died in 1991.
There was also an instance when the United Kingdom had three queens. On the death of King George VI in 1952, his elder daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, succeeded on the throne. He was survived by his consort, Queen Elizabeth, who took the title Queen Mother, and by his mother, Queen Mary, who died a little less than a year later, in 1953.