Queen Mathilde was born on 20 January 1973 in Uccle. She is the daughter of the Count and Countess Patrick d'Udekem d'Acoz. She was granted the title of Princess of Belgium on 4 December 1999 on the day that she married H.M. Prince Philippe.
The Queen went to primary school in Bastogne, followed by secondary school in Brussels before studying speech therapy at the Institut Libre Marie Haps in Brussels from 1991-1994. She worked as a speech therapist at her own practice in Brussels, while studying psychology at the Catholic University of Leuven.
Her interest in children gave rise to the creation of the Fund Princess Mathilde, designed to identify projects to help vulnerable people, and particularly children. The Queen has also given her Patronage to several associations that deal with issues affecting vulnerable people. She is passionate about education, literacy and projects encouraging children, adults and women to read aloud. The Queen attaches particular importance to health. In this regard, she was the Special Representative for Vaccination and the World Health Organisation Europe from 2011-2013.
Queen Mathilde has taken part in the United Nations Conference on the Rights of the Child as a member of the Belgian delegation. She also accepted the role of Ambassador for the United Nations for the International Year of Microcredit in 2005 and has consequently visited many projects worldwide. For several years, Queen Mathilde has been a Special Representative of UNICEF and UNAIDS.
In 2007, Queen Mathilde became a member of the Young Global Leaders, the World Economic Forum and took part in the Global Leadership and Public Policy Program in Boston.
Queen Mathilde became an honorary member of the Board of Directors of the Schwab Foundation for social entrepreneurship in 2010 and accepted the Honorary Presidency of the "Breast International Group", a network facilitating research into breast cancer.
In addition to these activities, the Queen accompanies H.M. King Philippe on economic missions abroad and participates in events to promote Belgium internationally. The Queen is interested in music, plays the piano and also likes literature, sport and nature.
H.M. Queen Mathilde and H.M. King Philippe live at the Château de Laeken with their four children Elisabeth (born 25 October 2001), Gabriel (born 20 August 2003), Emmanuel (born 4 October 2005) and Eléonore (born 16 April 2008).
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