HRH Princess Mathilde was born on 20 January 1973 in Uccle. She is the daughter of the Count and Countess Patrick d'Udekem d'Acoz.
Princess Mathilde went to primary school in Bastogne, followed by secondary school at the "Institut de la Vierge Fidèle" in Brussels. From 1991-1994, she studied to be a speech therapist at the "Institut Libre Marie Haps" in Brussels, graduating magna cum laude.
The Princess set up her own professional speech therapy practice in Brussels, where she worked from 1995 until the end of 1999. At the same time, she began studying for a master’s degree in psychology at the Catholic University of Louvain. She graduated cum laude in 2002.
The Princess has a special interest in working with vulnerable people, in particular with children. Within these areas of interest, the "Fund Princess Mathilde" was created in December 2000. Each year, the Fund identifies projects that aim to make a difference in helping vulnerable people. It bestows an annual Prize on the most valuable project.
In addition, Princess Mathilde has given her patronage to several associations dealing with issues of concern to vulnerable people.
She also attaches prime importance to educational subjects, the empowerment of women and supports projects to fight illiteracy.
In May 2002, she was a member of the Belgian delegation at the UN Conference on Children in New York.
Since 2009, Princess Mathilde has been the Honorary President of Unicef Belgium.
The Princess has headed humanitarian missions to Niger together with UNICEF and the Belgian Development Cooperation and to Mali, highlighting children rights, health issues, the empowerment of women, the eradication of poverty and good governance. She also has a special interest in non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardio-vascular and chronic respiratory diseases.
Princess Mathilde has also become a UNICEF and UNAIDS special representative for their world campaign for orphans and other vulnerable children affected or infected by HIV/AIDS. In this capacity, Princess Mathilde visited projects in Tanzania China and Senegal.
Princess Mathilde accepted to become a UN emissary for the International Year of Microcredit 2005 and visited in that capacity projects in China, Mali, India and Washington/USA.
In 2007, the Princess became a member of the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum.
Princess Mathilde accompanies H.R.H. Prince Philippe on missions abroad that aim to enhance the image of Belgium and promote Belgian commercial and economic interests. Missions cover all continents.
She likes modern as well as classical music and she plays the piano. She is a good tennis player and swimmer, and enjoys nature and open air activities. She loves literature.
Besides Dutch and French, the Princess speaks English, Italian and some Spanish.
She makes full use of modern communication tools.
Princess Mathilde was granted the title of Princess of Belgium upon her marriage to H.R.H. Prince Philippe of Belgium on 4th December 1999.
On 25th October 2001, Princess Mathilde gave birth to a daughter, Princess Elisabeth.
On 25th October 2001, Princess Mathilde gave birth to a daughter, Princess Elisabeth, on 20th August 2003 to a son, Prince Gabriel, and on 4th October 2005 to a second son, Prince Emmanuel and on 16th April 2008 to a second daughter, Princess Eléonore.
Princess Mathilde was born on 20 January 1973