Heraldry in Belgium

Coat of Arms of Belgium

The Constitution of 1994 provides ( article 193):

"The Belgian Nation adopts red, yellow, and black colors, while the 
Coat of Arms* depicts the Lion of Belgium with the Motto: Union Makes Strength."

This picture comes from Belg@Net, which has more information on Belgium.

Arms of the Regions and Provinces

Monarchy in Belgium

The current king of Belgium is Albert II (born 6-6-1934), brother of the late king Baudoin I and formerly prince of Liége. His wife is Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria, daughter of the prince Fulco Ruffo di Calabria, duke of Guardia Lombarda, count of Sinopoli. Their children are Philippe (b. 1960), duke of Brabant, Astrid (born 1962, married to archduke Lorenz of Habsburg-Lorraine), and Laurent (born 1963).

The Belgian constitution ratified in 1994 provides:

Article 85 [Dynasty]

(1) The King's constitutional powers are hereditary through the direct, natural, and legitimate descent from H.M. Leopold, Georges, Chretien, Frederic of Saxe-Coburg, by order of primogeniture.
(2) The successor described in Paragraph (1) shall be deprived of his rights to the crown, if he marries without the King's consent or, in the absence thereof, without the consent of those exercising the King's powers in cases provided for by the Constitution.
(3) His lost right may nonetheless be re-established by the King, or, in the absence thereof, by those exercising the King's powers in cases provided for by the Constitution, in the event of agreement on the part of both Houses.

Article 86 [Succession]

(1) For lack of a descendant to H. M. Leopold, Georges, Chretien, Frederic of Saxe-Coburg, the King may name his successor, with the approval of the Houses, in such a manner as prescribed in Article 87.
(2) In the absence of a nomination undertaken in the above-mentioned manner, the throne shall be vacant.

Note that, by virtue of article 199, the disposition of article 85 only became applicable with the descent of the present king.

Titles and Nobility

The eldest son of the sovereign is titled duke of Brabant, his eldest son is titled count of Hainault.

Nobility in Belgium exists: article 114 of the Constitution provides that "the King may confer titles of nobility, while remaining unable to attach privileges to the latter". The only nobility and titled nobility is that recognized or conferred by William I king of the Low Countries (1815-30) or a king of the Belgians (since 1831). From 1814 to 1994 1631 families have been declared noble:

  1. 761 nobility from before 1795 (when French laws abolishing nobility came into effect), 403 remain
  2. 11 nobility under Napoleon (1808-14), 6 remain
  3. 37 nobility granted by William I (1814-30), 14 remain
  4. 758 between 1831 and 1994, 647 remain. As of 1986, about 1000 families remained, with 9 princes, 5 dukes, 10 marquis, 85 counts, 35 viscounts, 317 barons, 113 knights. The non-titled nobility use the title of jonkheer (jonkvrouw) or squire.

    The princely and ducal families are: