royaltyPrince Laurent, Princess Astrid and other members of the royal family have had to go to the town hall to change their identity cards. They are no longer called ‘of Belgium’, but ‘of Saksen-Coburg’. Only Filip, Mathilde, Albert, Paola and Elisabeth still have the family name ‘of Belgium’.

    The name changes are a result of a royal decree from 2015, which was supposed to clear up the confusion between the title and the family name of the royals. For example, Laurent’s official name on his pass was ‘Laurent of Belgium’, but he was also ‘Prince of Belgium’. Now he is ‘Laurent of Saxe-Coburg’, but he remains ‘Prince of Belgium’.

    Of Saxe-Coburg

    According to royalty site ‘Histoires Royales’, members of the royal family were asked by their municipal administration a year ago to have their personal data changed. Laurent and Claire answered the call. Both have a management position in a company. The Crossroads Bank shows that Laurent, who is a director of the non-profit organization GRECT, changed his name to ‘van Saksen-Coburg’. It is written in Dutch because Laurent lives in Tervuren, a Flemish municipality. Claire is now called ‘Claire Coombs’, her maiden name. Delphine has been called ‘de Saxe-Cobourg’ since she was recognized as a child of Albert.

    Three of the four children of Filip and Mathilde are also called ‘van Saksen-Coburg’. Prince Gabriel wears that name on his uniform at the Royal Military Academy. Princess Elisabeth continues to be called ‘of Belgium’ as heir to the throne. She did not have to change her name, nor did King Albert and Queen Paola. Princess Astrid may have already done so, but because she does not hold any public positions, this cannot be determined in the Crossroads Bank. There is no problem for her children, because they bear the name of their father, Lorenz d’Autriche-Este (Habsbourg-Lorraine). The title ‘prince of Belgium’ or ‘princess of Belgium’ remains valid.

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