The Royal Household consists of six autonomous departments. Heads of Department carry the responsibility of managing their department and are accountable to the King.
The Heads of Department together form the “Court Steering Committee”.
The Court Steering Committee consists of the six Heads of Department. Its secretariat is overseen by the Chief of Protocol of the Court. The Steering Committee outlines the general policy of the Palace, proposes a medium and short-term programme and furthers communication and coordination between Departments and with the Households of the Princes and Princesses.
The Chief of Cabinet to the King deals with political and administrative matters and liaises with the government and political, trade union and industrial leaders. He assists the King in keeping track of political current affairs.
The Chief of Cabinet monitors national political, economic and social issues on a daily basis, in order to keep the King informed. He proposes and prepares the King’s political audiences and assists the King in preparing speeches.
His own staff comprises :
• The Legal Adviser, Deputy to the Chief of Cabinet, who examines the documents submitted for the King’s signature and assists the Chief of Cabinet;
• The Press Adviser, Deputy to the Chief of Cabinet, who handles relations with the press and audiovisual media, both Belgian and international. He disseminates press releases and organizes contacts with the media during activities by members of the Royal Family at the Palace and on other locations;
• The Archivist, who keeps and inventories the archives held by the current and former departments and services of the Palace. He is also at the disposal of researchers wishing to consult the archives.
The Intendant of the Civil List of the King conducts and oversees the material, financial and human resources of the King’s Household.
The Intendant of the Civil List of the King also advises the King in the areas of energy, science and culture, and administrates the King’s hunting rights.
He is assisted by the Commandant of the Royal Palaces and the Treasurer of the King’s Civil List.
The Commandant of the Royal Palaces is in charge of the maintenance and upkeep of the palaces, castles and residences. In close cooperation with the Chief of Protocol of the Court, he also ensures logistical support for activities (personnel, transport, etc.). He is also Director of the Royal Hunts.
The Treasurer of the King’s Civil List administers the financial resources, keeps the accounts and is in charge of human resources management.
The Chief of the Military Household of the King assists the King in the fulfilment of his constitutional duties in the area of defence. In this context he monitors the international security situation and positions taken by international organizations active in this field, and informs the King on these issues. He also informs the King about the situation, resources, operation and missions of Belgium’s Armed Forces.
In close cooperation with the Cabinet of the King and the Foreign Relations Department, he positions national security and defence policy in the foreign policy context.
The Chief of the Military Household also handles relations with leaders in the areas of scientific research, the police and security and intelligence services, the emergency services, sports, patriotic associations and veterans. He advises the King on these issues.
Within the Royal Palace, the Chief of the Military Household coordinates with the Palace Security Detachment and also directs the Information Technology Service.
The Military Household is headed by a general officer assisted by a senior officer, the Adviser to the Military Household.
The Aides-de-Camp and Equerries are also attached to the Military Household.
• Aides-de-Camp to the King are general or senior officers tasked by the King to be in attendance on important visitors or to represent the Sovereign at occasions or functions which he is unable to attend
• Equerries to the King are officers who are in permanent attendance on the King, accompany him on visits and assist him with practical tasks. They rotate on a weekly basis.
The Chief of Protocol of the Court is in charge of organizing and conducting the public engagements of the King and Queen, in coordination with the departments involved. He is also tasked with organizing the meetings of the Court Steering Committee and establishing its conclusions. Furthermore he ensures the coordination with the various Houses and Services.
The Chief of Protocol of the Court is assisted by the Secretary to the Queen, who proposes and prepares the Queen’s audiences and visits. The Secretary to the Queen also advises the King on cultural matters and assists the Chief of Protocol in preparing activities.
The Head of the Foreign Relations Department informs the King of developments in international affairs, assists the King from a diplomatic viewpoint on royal visits abroad, prepares the King’s audiences on international affairs (e.g. audiences with Heads of State or foreign VIPs on a visit, audiences with Ambassadors presenting their credentials or taking their leave).
He is the point of contact at the Palace for foreign diplomatic missions accredited to the King, it being understood that these missions are requested not to send requests for audiences with the King directly to the Palace, but via verbal note to the Head of Protocol of the Federal Government Department for Foreign Affairs.
The Head of the Foreign Relations Department also advises the King on economic issues.
The Head of the Petitions and Social Affairs Department is in charge of processing petitions and requests for social aid addressed to the King, the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.
The Head of the Petitions and Social Affairs Department advises the King on
• royal favours, such as : permanent or occasional Patronage, the conferral of the predicate ‘Royal’ to certain associations, Honorary Chairmanships, prizes for laureates, sponsorship of godchildren to the King and Queen, conferral of the title of ‘Special Representative’, usage of royal names etc…
• congratulatory messages on the occasion of jubilees (wedding anniversaries, centenarians).
The Head of the Petitions and Social Affairs Department also advises the King on social issues and for activities in these areas.