24 APRIL 2003
Just ten days after the Belgian royals gained a princess when Prince Laurent wed longtime love Claire Coombs, King Albert II has welcomed yet another addition to his growing family.
The monarch's 40-year-old daughter, Princess Astrid, gave birth to her fifth child on Wednesday, the royal palace has announced. The blue-eyed baby girl, named Princess Laetitia Maria, was born at Clinique Générale Saint-Jean in Brussels. Both mum and daughter are doing fine, said a spokesperson.
Newborn Princess Laetitia is eighth in line to the throne. Princess Astrid, already mother to teenagers Prince Amedeo and Princess Maria, as well as 11-year-old Prince Joachim and seven-year-old Princess Louisa, married Archduke Lorenz of Austria in 1984.
Prior to baby Laetitia's arrival, the most recent newcomer in the Belgian royal family was Crown Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde's little girl, Princess Elisabeth, who was born in 2001.