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Queen Paola of Belgium: Congratulations on your 75th birthday!

The Queen of Belgians celebrates her 75th birthday today.
Photo: AFP / Getty Images

Royal feast

Congratulations, today Paola Queen of the Belgians celebrates her 75th birthday - as her official title. The party is mainly held in the family circle because it is big: Queen Paola and her husband King Albert (78) have three children who gave them a total of 12 grandchildren!

Queen Paola, a princess from the Italian house of Ruffo di Calabria, has undergone a remarkable transformation - from the brisk party girl to the esteemed country mother!

Most Belgians did not think she could do that role change. When the childless King Baudouin died in 1993, many thought that not his brother Albert, but his son Philippe (52) would ascend the throne in Brussels. A mistake: Albert became king, his wife Paola queen, Crown Prince Philippe must wait ...

In hindsight, a good coincidence, as Albert and Paola managed to change the image, as he could hardly be more obvious. Both were long considered black sheep in the European aristocracy. Immediately after their marriage in July 1959, they vigorously mixed up high society. Hot scenes, wild parties, and the racy Paola always in the middle. Among her most prominent admirers was the chansonnier Adamo, who might not only have dedicated the song "Dolce Paola" (Sweet Paola), but also how well-meaning whispered, wrote ...

In her marriage, peppered with much turbulence, the air was constantly burning. A while so hard that both decided to go their separate ways. What happened at this stage remains the secret of King Albert and Queen Paola . Rumors are heard many, and that one or the other affair may not be without consequences.

But all the difficulties were overcome, and love returned, at least that is what Albert once said in a Christmas speech in view of the private crisis between him and his wife.

And indeed - the sins of the past no one counts anymore. Today counts the performance of the royal couple, and that is high. No other European country is as torn apart as Belgium by language disputes and social divisions. The only constant is the monarchy with Albert and Paola at the top.

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