King Albert II of Belgium has abdicated in favour of his son Crown Prince Philippe.
The monarch, crowned in 1993, is 79 years old and explained in a televised address that it was time for him to step aside:
“It is with confidence and serenity that I inform you of my intention to resign this July 21, the day of our national holiday. My son Crown Prince Philippe is well prepared to succeed me,” King Albert said.
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