Boudewijn, King of the Belgians (1930-1993) was the elder son of King Leopold III and Queen Astrid.
He was born near Brussels and educated privately and at a college in Geneva. He was in voluntary exile with his father in Switzerland from May 1945 to July 1950.
Leopold's return to Belgium provoked much unrest, and in August 1950 the King agreed to relinquish his royal prerogatives to Crown Prince Boudewijn and to abdicate when Boudewijn attained his majority.
Leopold abdicated on 16 July 1951, two months before the 21st birthday of his son, and Boudewijn took the oath of office the next day. He married Doña Fabiola de Mora y Aragón of Spain in 1960.
Boudewijn hit the world headlines in 1990 when he abdicated for one day because he could not agree with the introduction of the new Belgian abortion laws. He was promptly reinstated as King the next day when the new law had been passed. This was seen by the Belgian people as another demonstration by the King of his strong morals and Christian beliefs.
He died from hart failure while on holiday in Spain with Queen Fabiola and was deeply mourned by the Belgian people. He was succeeded by his younger brother King Albert II.