After his secondary studies, which was spent partly at the Pius X College in Antwerp, in the Dutch language, and partly at the Royal Cadet School in Laeken (Brussels) in the French language, he joined to the Royal Military Academy where he was educated as an officer of the Armed Forces. On completion of his academic education, he joined the Belgian Navy, as his father did before him. He embarked as a Naval Trainee on board of frigates and Mine Hunters.
The Prince was promoted to the rank of Sub-Lieutenant in September 1985 and was sworn in as an officer on 30 October of the same year. Like all Deck Officers in the Belgian Navy, he had to specialise in a specific area of Warfare. Prince Laurent chose to become a diver and a helicopter pilot.
On July 20th 1989, Prince Albert, Prince of Liège, who was at that time Rear-Admiral, awarded his son the diver's insignia during a Naval parade held in the Town Hall square (Burg) in Bruges. In September 1989, Prince Laurent was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. A few months later, on completion of his Pilot Training, his uncle, the late King Baudouin, handed him with his helicopter pilot wings.
Prince Laurent was promoted to Commander on 15 November 1994.
On completion of his military training, the Prince went to the United States for practical training in various branches of private industries as pharmaceuticals, aerospace and leisure, and at the International Monetary Fund, at the World Bank and at the United Nations, in development and environment programmes.
Back in Belgium, he spent several months as a trainee at the European Commission, where he was active in a Think Tank about the quality of life and the environment. Therefore he was awarded with the Emile Noël Prize for his original contribution to the building of Europe.
In 1994, Prince Laurent became the Chairman of an Institute which seeks to promote the conservation of nature and the development of clean technologies, taking into account economic and social factors. This Institute, known as "Institut Royal pour la gestion durable des ressources naturelles et la promotion des technologies propres" (IRGT), supports and publicizes the policies of the regional governments for nature conservation and promotion of clean technologies. The IRTGT stopped its activities in 2009.
Prince Laurent is the Chairman of the Foundation, named after him, for the wellbeing of domestic and wild animals. This Foundation was founded in 1995, and aims to improve relations between men and animals.
At European level, he is the Chairman of the European Research Group for Alternative Toxicity Testing (ERGATT).
In accordance with the Constitution, Prince Laurent is a Senator, and took the Constitutional Oath on 31 May 2000.
The Prince is also honorary president of the Belgian National Orchestra.
The wedding of Prince Laurent and Miss Claire Coombs took place in Brussels on April 12th 2003.
Miss Claire Coombs was raised to Princess of Belgium, on the day of Her marriage, by Royal Decree of April 1st 2003.
The couple have a daughter, Princess Louise, born on 6 February 2004, and two sons, Prince Nicolas and Prince Aymeric, born on 13 December 2005.
Prince Laurent was promoted to the rank of Captain of the Belgian Navy on June 26th 2004.
Prince Laurent was born on 19 October 1963