The Belgian Royal Palace in Brussels
By Martin Falbisoner via Wikimedia Commons
Following a couple of years with family challenges, the death Queen Fabiola in 2014 and the abdication of King Albert II in 2013, this year has been relatively quiet for the royal family. Queen Mathilde did suffer a fall which caused her to spend part of the year in a knee brace followed by flat shoes for some time. This did not stop her from visiting Pope Francis in Rome and visiting Ethiopia on behalf of UNICEF and making several state visits including one to China. She managed to carry out a busy schedule at home and abroad while continuing her very hands-on parenting of her four children. Meanwhile, Princess Astrid traveled around the globe in the role her brother King Philippe gave her upon his accession: Honorary Chairman of the Foreign Trade Agency. Poor Princess Claire stood by her husband, overcoming rumors of trouble in her marriage, as Prince Laurent publicly lamented that the royal family treats him poorly and as the government accused him of using his public funding for private purposes.
Queen Mathilde with her family, including daughters Elisabeth Duchess of Brabant (right) and Princess Eleonore
Former Queen Paolo
Princess Claire and her family, including daughter Princess Louise
Astrid's children including daughter-in-law Princess Elisabetta (center) and daughters (from tallest/oldest) Princess Maria Laura, Princess Luisa Maria and Princess Laetitia Maria (from February 2014)