20 AUGUST 2003

Princess Mathilde of Belgium and her husband Crown Prince Philippe welcomed a new addition to the family on Wednesday, bringing their first child, 22-month-old Princess Elisabeth, a little brother.

Gabriel Baudouin Charles Marie came into the world at 1:14am, weighing 8lbs 13oz (four kilos) and measuring 21 inches (53 centimetres), announced the royal palace. "The princess and her son are fine," added the statement.

Gabriel is the seventh grandchild of King Albert II and Queen Paola, who interrupted their vacations in the south of France to jet to Brussels in order to properly greet the new member of the family. The infant will occupy the third place in the line of succession, behind his elder sibling Elisabeth.

Little Gabriel's delivery came a bit early, as his birth wasn't expected until September. When his sister was born in 2001, she arrived two weeks before her due date as well.

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Photo: © Alphapress.com
The new arrival is a little brother for the couple's first child, Princess ElisabethPhoto: © AFP
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Prince Philippe clutches flowers as he arrives at a Brussels hospital to visit his new son, Prince GabrielPhoto: © PA
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