Queen Paola: the beauty of Belgium

Paola Ruffo di Calabria (11 September, 1937, Forte dei Marmi, Italy) was an icon of beauty and elegance just as Grace Kelly and Caroline of Monaco were at the time and Kate Middleton, Princess Mary of Denmark  and Charlotte Casiraghi are now.

Blessed with an irresistible charm, she began writing her own life story after her marriage to Albert of Belgium, with whom she had three children: Prince Philippe, born on 15 April, 1960, Princess Astrid, born 5 June, 1962, and Prince Laurent, born on 19 October, 1963.

Her power of seduction made her front cover of many magazines and she marked fashion trends around the world.

Now that Albert II of Belgium has announced that he will abdicate on 21 July in favour of his eldest son, Prince Philippe, HELLO! Online remembers the golden years of the glamorous and beautiful Queen Paola.

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