6 royal birthdays that rule in April

April is awash with royal birthdays. It's about as popular a month as you can find for regal births right now and among all the celebrations are some very special anniversaries. For six of Europe's current rulers were born in April.



Three kings, two queens and one Grand Duke all have special days this month.  And while the 90th birthday of the Queen is getting all the attention, there are plenty of other regal reasons to start buying cakes. Here are six royal birthdays that rule in April.






Philippe, King of the Belgians is 56 on April 15th
Europe's third youngest monarch is the first of our April born rulers to celebrate their birthday. Philippe Leopold Louis Marie was born on April 15th 1960 in Brussels, the first child of the then Prince and Princess of Liege, Albert and Paola. His father was heir to the Belgian throne but not expected to rule as his older brother, King Baudouin, was young, had yet to marry and there were happy hopes he would have a large family. Instead, he and his wife, Queen Fabiola, lost five children before birth. On Baudouin's death, in 1993, Philippe became heir to the throne with the title of Duke of Brabant and on his father's abdication in 2013 he became King of the Belgians. He will celebrate his third anniversary as monarch on July 21st 2016. 
(photo monarchiebelge.be)




Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark is 76 on April 16th
Europe's second longest reigning monarch and third oldest celebrates her 76th birthday mid month. Margrethe Alexandrine Þorhildur Ingrid was born on April 16th 1940 at the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen. She was the eldest child of the then Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark who, in 1947, became King Frederick IX and Queen Ingrid. Her royal future was uncertain at the time of her birth as Denmark had just been invaded by Nazi Germany and women had no right to succeed to the throne. Following the war and her father's accession, laws were changed and Margrethe became heir. She succeeded on January 14th 1972 on the death of her father and recently marked her 44th anniversary as queen regnant.





Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg is 61 on April 16th
He's just celebrated his 35th wedding anniversary and his wife's 60th birthday but this month the celebrations focus solely on the Grand Duke of Luxembourgh. Henri Albert Gabriel Felix Marie Guillaume was born on April 16th 1955 in Betzdorf, Luxembourg. He was the second child and first son of Jean, then Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg and his wife, Josephine-Charlotte of Belgium. He became his country's heir in 1964 on the accession of his father and in 2000 he became Grand Duke when Jean abdicated. He will mark the 16th anniversary of his reign on October 7th this year.
(photo Cour Ducale/ Lola Velasco)



Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is 90 on April 21st

The princess who was never expected to wear a crown is now the longest reigning monarch Britain has ever known and has a place in history all of her own. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born on April 21st 1926 at 17 Bruton Street, London. Her parents were Albert and Elizabeth, then Duke and Duchess of York who became King and Queen in 1936 on the abdication of her uncle, Edward VIII. As Princess Elizaberth, she was heir to the throne for sixteen years before her father died, at the age of just 56. She became Queen Elizabeth II on February 6th 1952 and on September 9th 2015 she overtook the record set by her great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria, as Britain's longest reigning monarch. She is also the first, ever, to reach the age of 90 and celebrations will take place across three months for this special birthday. It's going to be some party.





Willem-Alexander,  King  of the Netherlands is 49 on April 27th

The first male monarch of the Netherlands for over a century will mark his anniversary with the King's Day celebrations as spring really takes hold. Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand was born on April 27th 1967 in Utrecht, the first child of the then heir to the Dutch throne, Princess Beatrix, and her husband. Prince Claus. When his mother became Queen of the Netherlands in 1980, Willem-Alexander became Prince of Orange, the first person to hold that title for almost a century. He ascended his country's throne on April 30th 2013 on the abdication of his mother and will mark three years as a king at the end of the month.
(photo koninklijkhuis.nl)





Carl XVI Gustaf,  King of Sweden is 70 on April 30th

Europe's longest reigning king notches up a special birthday this month. Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus of Sweden was born on April 30th 1946 at the Haga Palace, Solna . His parents, Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sybilla, already had four daughters but the birth of their baby boy was much longed for as girls had no succession rights in Sweden at the time. When Carl Gustaf was just nine months old his father was killed in a plane crash and when his grandfather became Gustaf VI Adolf, in 1950, this April royal baby became Crown Prince of Sweden. He held that role for 23 years until the death of his grandfather and he ascended Sweden's throne on September 15th 1973. There are several days of celebrations planned for his birthday this year and in September he will mark his 43rd anniversary as king.
(photo kungahuset.se)

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