Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Paola of Belgium
Her Majesty Queen Paola (Donna Paola Ruffo Wettin, formerly di Calabria), styled HM The Queen (born September 11, 1937) is the youngest daugther of Don Fulco of the Princes Ruffo di Calabria, 6th Duke of Guardia Lombarda (1884-1946), and his wife, née countess Luisa Gazelli di Rossana e di Sebastiano (1896-1989). Despite her pure Italian roots, her paternal grand-mother Laura Mosselman du Chenoy was Belgian. As one of the most beautiful and glamorous princess in Europe of the 1950s and 1960s, her Italian style was the inspiration for fashion designers everywhere. She went to school in Rome. Her brother Augusto was killed during the Second World War.
Queen Paola married King Albert II of the Belgians, of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (then Prince of Liège) in 1959, on July 2. Queen Paola and King Albert have three children: Philippe, Duke of Brabant who married Mathilde Marie Christine Ghislaine d'Udekem d'Acoz; Astrid who married Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este, cr Pr of Belgium; and Laurent, who married Claire Louise Coombs.
Her Majesty enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren and working in the Foundation Reine Paola. She speaks French, Italian, English, German, but little Dutch, for which she is often criticised.
The Ruffo dynasty traces it's origins back to Gervasio Ruffo who lived in the 12th century.
Her Majesty's paternal ancestry: Ruffo di Scilla (in Italian).
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