World News

King Albert II to Abdicate

Belgium's 79-year-old King Albert II says he will abdicate, a move that will end his 20-year reign.

King Albert said he will step down on July 21, Belgium's national day, in favor of his son Crown Prince Philippe.

Although serving as king is a largely ceremonial post, Albert did play a key role in uniting the country during a one-and-one-half year political crisis that ended in 2011.

In June of 2011, King Albert swore in Elio Di Rupo as prime minister. At the time, Belgium was facing increased international pressure because its deeply divided French and Dutch-speaking communities were unable to form a coalition government.

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