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Belgian king to abdicate in favour of crown prince

Belgium’s 79-year-old King Albert II has announced that he would abdicate 21 July, the country’s national day, and leave the throne to his eldest son and crown prince Philippe.

In a televised address to the nation Wednesday, the king named ‘age and health’ as the reasons for not continuing to do his duties, Xinhua reported.

‘Prince Philippe is well prepared to succeed me,’ Albert said. Philippe, 53, is a fighter pilot and parachutist. 

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