Belgium's new king on stamps

2ff2d502-95f8-4c51-9226-eb5b13f3cfe7

Latest Posts
Stamp Guide
Monaco: Christmas stamp
15 October 2021
Stamp Guide
Thematics: Mushroom stamps
07 October 2021
Stamp Guide
Rugby Union stamps from Royal Mail
05 October 2021
Stamp Guide
Thematics: Autumnal issues
29 September 2021
Stamp Guide
Fun twist on Swiss stamps
27 September 2021
07 August 2013
|
imports_CCGB_1963belgiumredcrossst_57425.png 1963 Belgium red cross stamp with Philippe as a toddler
Belgium has a new king: on 21 July, 2013, Belgium’s national day, King Albert II abdicated and his son Philippe became the nation’s seventh monarch, writes Adrian Keppel. ...
Belgium has a new king: on 21 July, 2013, Belgium’s national day, King Albert II abdicated and his son Philippe became the nation’s seventh monarch, writes Adrian Keppel.

To mark this event, Belgian Post have issued a miniature sheet with father and son sitting side by side on a park bench, with new definitives being promised in November. If anything, the miniature sheet stresses the homely feel that the Belgian monarchy wants to project.

This family theme has been the subject of many royal stamp issues in Belgium, including the one which saw the first time Philippe appeared on a stamp: the 1963 Red Cross Centenary issue consisted of a number of royal ‘family snapshots’ and on the 40c +10c value we find the toddler Philippe. With the contemporary King and his wife being a childless couple, the family of Philippe’s father, brother to the king, often stepped in to play the role of royal family.

But Belgians would have to wait until 1999 before their Philippe would again appear on stamps: this time to mark his upcoming marriage to Mathilde. It was soon followed, in 2002, by an issue to mark the first anniversary of their first born, Princess Elizabeth, who is now first in the line of succession. A 2010 single stamp marked the 50th birthday of Philippe.

It is often said that the Belgian monarchy is about the only thing still holding the country together. As is well-known, Belgium is split into two halves, a Dutch and a French speaking part, with relations between the two often acrimonious. This is very much the biggest challenge any Belgian monarch has to face and it is no wonder, therefore, that Philippe has been seen to be hesitant in wanting to take up this challenge.

And yet it is a matter which is close to his heart, with him founding the Prince Philippe Fund in 1998. Its aim is to encourage and improve communications between the various communities in Belgium. This is also the reason why on the various stamp issues portraying Philippe, you’ll find the name of the country not just in Dutch and French, but in German too, as a mark of honour to the small yet important communities in the east of Belgium where German is the main language.

It would therefore be fair to say that the stamp issue to promote this fund, which consist of a single stamp issued in 2000, is by far the most relevant and poignant stamp issued in honour of the current King of the Belgians.

Don’t miss the in-depth article in October’s Stamp & Coin Mart which charts the history of Belgium’s royal family on stamps since the first design of 1849, including the famous ‘Soldier King’ definitives of 1919.
Advertisements