Friday, 7 April 2017

Residences: The castle and park of Laken

When Mathilde d'Udekem got engaged to crown prince Philippe she must have often set foot in his impressive home, an apartment in the castle of Laken.

When they got married she officially moved in with him.

After a few years they changed apartments and moved from the right wing of the building to an apartment in the left wing.

Some parts of the castle are used for official activities...

... Others are private.

The castle is set in a private park of 186 hectares.

The greenhouses were built in the early 1870s by Alphonse Balat for king Leopold II.

One of the greenhouse buildings houses a subtropical swimming pool.

There's a private railway building (out of use) ...

... and a playhouse for the children that was designed by the late queen Astrid in the 1930s as a copy of her own childhood playhouse on the Fridhem estate in Sweden.

A chaumière cottage on the estate used to be queen Elisabeth's atelier. It's preserved as it was when she died.

The family can enjoy the view of the Japanese tower and the Chinese Pavillion.

The royal park also houses other Belgian royals: Albert & Paola in the Belvédère (although they spend most of the year in Italy and France); and Astrid & Lorenz in newly built villa "Schonenberg".

Their son Amedeo & his wife, Lili spent the first year of their marriage in an adjacent farm style building - before leaving it to move to Basel, Switzerland in 2017.

Amedeo & Lili's former home

The park also houses castle Stuyvenberg where queen Fabiola used to live. It is now vacant.

This is the gardener's lodge.


  1. I absolutely ADORE this blog!!! Please keep up the fabulous work. I check it everyday for a new post because I love it so much. Mathilde is my favourite royal and your knowledge of her overall is wonderful. I welcome it and love learning about her life before marriage, after marriage and after becoming Queen. Thank you!

    1. Thank you for your appreciation!

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