Queen Mathilde of Belgium

Early life and family

Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz was born on 20 January 1973 in Ukkel, Belgium. Mathilde is the oldest of five children. The d'Udekem d'Acoz family were of aristocratic origins; her grandfather and her uncle were barons while she and her father were a part of the untitled nobility. Mathilde grew up at the family estate, Losange Castle, Bastogne.

Mathilde's father was Count (formerly Jonkheer) Patrick d'Udekem d'Acoz (Uccle, 28 April 1936 – Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, 25 September 2008), son of Baron Charles d'Udekem d'Acoz (Ghent, 8 March 1885 – Proven, 7 December 1968), who was of Belgian noble ancestry; her mother is Countess Anna Maria Komorowska (born 24 September 1946 in Białogard, Poland), daughter of Count Leon Michael Komorowski (Siedliska, 14 August 1907 – 1992) and Polish Princess Zofia María Sapieha of Krasiczyn, Clan Lis (Bobrek, 10 October 1919 – Herstal, 14 August 1997).

Upon her marriage to Prince Philippe of Belgium, the Duke of Brabant in 1999, King Albert II of Belgium elevated the family d'Udekem d'Acoz from the baronial to the comital rank, hereditary in the male lineage. Upon the accession of her husband, Prince Philippe, Duke of Brabant to the throne of Belgium she became the first Belgian queen consort of native Belgian nationality.[1]


Mathilde attended primary school in Bastogne.[2] She attended secondary school at the Institut de la Vierge Fidèle in Brussels, and then studied speech therapy at the Institut libre Marie Haps in Brussels from 1991 to 1994, earning a diploma with high honours (magna cum laude).

Mathilde worked as a speech therapist in her own practice in Brussels from 1995 to 1999. She also studied psychology at the Université catholique de Louvain and earned a master's degree in psychology in 2002 with honours (cum laude).

She speaks French, Dutch, English and Italian. Her mother, who has lived most of her life outside Poland, did not teach her Polish, thinking that it would not be necessary. Therefore, Mathilde knows only a few words of Polish.[3]

Marriage and children

The announcement of Mathilde's engagement to the Belgian heir-apparent Prince Philippe came as a surprise to the country. Mathilde married Philippe on 4 December 1999 in Brussels, civilly at the Brussels Town Hall and religiously at the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula. Mathilde's bridal gown was designed by Édouard Vermeulen. She was made Duchess of Brabant and a Princess of Belgium on 8 November 1999 (published on 13 November 1999 and effective from 4 December 1999).

The couple have four children:

Princess Elisabeth, the couple's eldest child, is the first in line to the throne and ahead of her younger brothers and sister, who are second, third, and fourth in line to succeed, owing to a change in Belgian succession laws in 1991, allowing for the eldest child to succeed, regardless of gender.


Queen Mathilde is concerned with a range of social issues including education, child poverty, intergenerational poverty, the position of women in society and literacy.[4]

Since 2009, Queen Mathilde has been the honorary president of Unicef Belgium.[4] She serves as the World Health Organization’s Special Representative for Immunization.[5] She also the honorary president of the Breast International Group, a non-profit organisation for academic breast cancer research groups from around the world.[4]

She set up the Princess Mathilde Fund (now the Queen Mathilde Fund) in 2001, which promotes the care of vulnerable people and awards an annual prize for good works in a particular sector.[6] The sector changes each year: examples include early years education, women's health, and protecting young people from violence.[7]

Queen Mathilde deploys the Queen's Charities to offer help to citizens who are struggling to cope with financial hardship in their daily lives and often turn to her as a last resort.[4] The Queen is honorary president of Child Focus, foundation for missing and sexually exploited children.[4]

Since 2014, Queen Mathilde has given her patronage to the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition, an international competition founded in 1937 as an initiative of Queen Elisabeth and Belgian composer and violist Eugène Ysaÿe.[4]

In 2018, Queen Mathilde became the Honorary President of the Federal Council for Sustainable Development. According to the royal tradition, Queen Mathilde became an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium.[4]

Queen Mathilde is a member of the Schwab Foundation Board for Social Entrepreneurship. She was a United Nations Emissary for the International Year of Microcredit 2005, which focused in particular on financial inclusion and financial literacy. The Queen also attends the annual World Economic Forum in Davos.[4]

Queen Mathilde was named a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Advocate in 2016, promoting the 2030 Agenda for global sustainable development.[8]





Alliance Coat of Arms of King Philippe
and Queen Mathilde
Dual Cypher of King Philippe
and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians
Coat of arms of the House of d'Udekem d'Acoz
Coat of arms of Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz


  1. Her predecessors were, in order of succession, French, Austrian, German, Swedish, Spanish, and Italian.
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Queen Mathilde of Belgium
Born: 20 January 1973
Belgian royalty
Preceded by
Paola Ruffo di Calabria
Queen consort of the Belgians
2013 – present

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