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New royal photo released to mark special anniversary

Isn't this lovely?

Fiona Ward

The Belgian royal family have released a beautiful photograph to mark the 60th wedding anniversary of King Albert and Queen Paola, which fell earlier in July. The sweet shot shows the happy couple posing with the likes of Queen Mathilde, King Philippe and plenty more of their other beloved children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren – what a gorgeous snap! It's thought to have been taken at the Royal Palace of Brussels.

The caption on social media read: "Their Majesties King Albert and Queen Paola have gathered, on the occasion of their diamond wedding, with their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. #BelgianRoyalPalace #MonarchieBE."

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King Albert of Belgium wed his beautiful Italian bride Paola Ruffo di Calabria on 2 July 1959 in the Empire Salon of the Royal Palace of Brussels. Albert, Prince of Liège, did not take the throne until much later in 1993, when his brother King Baudouin died without leaving a direct heir. Albert and Paola share three children – King Philippe, who took the throne after King Albert stepped down in 2013, Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent. The siblings have 12 children between them, hence the bursting family photo!

Albert and Paola's royal wedding day

The smiling snap also features Princess Elisabeth, heiress apparent to the Belgian throne, who stands happily behind her grandmother. The 17 year-old is currently studying in Wales and will graduate in May 2020 – it's thought that she won't take on official royal duties until she has finished her education.

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Friday's family photograph comes after King Albert agreed to a DNA test back in May - in a paternity case requested by Delphine Boel. The 51 year-old has been fighting to prove that the monarch is her biological father after he allegedly had a relationship with her mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps. A statement from Albert’s lawyer said the former monarch would submit to the test "out of respect to the judicial authorities". It was made clear the move did not imply any admission of guilt.

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