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Happy birthday Queen Mathilde: 10 facts about the Belgian royal

queen mathilde family
January 20, 2015
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Queen Mathilde celebrates her 42nd birthday on 20 January. Marking her second birthday as a queen consort, Mathilde is expected to spend the day surrounded by family and friends. To honour Mathilde's birthday, HELLO! Online has compiled ten facts about the royal.

queen mathilde © Photo: Getty Images

Queen Mathilde has been hailed as one of Europe's most stylish royals

1. The future queen was born Jonkvrouw Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz un Uccle, Belgium on 20 January 1973. Jonkvrouw translated means 'young lady'. 2. As the daughter of Count and Countess Patrick d'Udekem d'Acoz, Mathilde was born into nobility. She met Prince Philippe while playing tennis in 1996 and they married three years later. The couple have four children, first-in-line Princess Elisabeth, 12, Prince Gabriel, ten, Prince Emmanuel, eight, and Princess Eléonore, five. 3. Upon marriage to her prince, Mathilde became The Duchess of Brabant, before becoming The Queen of the Belgians after her husband's coronation.

queen mathilde wedding © Photo: Getty Images

Queen Mathilde and King Philippe married in 1999 after meeting at a tennis match three years earlier

4. She is godmother to Princess Alexia of the Netherlands and Princess Isabella of Denmark. 5. Similar to the Duchess of Cambridge and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, Queen Mathilde has been praised for her elegant style and has been frequently named one of the world's best-dressed women. 6. Mathilde often supports her husband King Philippe on royal duties overseas and the couple attended the wedding of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge in London in April 2011.

queen mathilde family © Photo: Getty Images

Queen Mathilde and King Philippe are parents to Princess Eléonore, Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel and Princess Elisabeth

7. The European royal speaks French, Dutch, English and Italian. Before marrying Philippe she worked as a speech therapist at her own practice in Brussels. 8. Since becoming a member of the Belgium royal family, Mathilde has dedicated her time to royal duties, taking part in the annual World Economic Forum in Davos and becoming the honorary president of UNICEF Belgium. 9. The royal shares her birthday with Britain's Countess of Wessex, singer Gary Barlow and Strictly Come Dancing star Mark Wright. 10. During her younger years, Mathilde spent time backpacking with friends in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

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