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Hospitalised Prince Laurent of Belgium 'improving' says mother

The condition of Prince Laurent of Belgium, the wayward younger brother of King Philippe who has been in a medically induced coma since mid-March, is improving, his mother said Thursday. The 50-year-old prince, 11th in line to the throne, was rushed to hospital on March 18 suffering from pneumonia and, according to Belgian press reports, a serious bout of depression. Calling Laurent her "most vulnerable" child, Queen Paola said in a statement he was no longer in a coma and that she offered him "all her affection".

Prince Laurent of Belgium placed in induced coma

Prince Laurent of Belgium, the naughty younger brother of King Philippe, has been placed in a medically-induced coma in a Brussels hospital, the palace said Tuesday. The 50-year-old prince, 11th in line to the throne, was rushed to hospital a week ago suffering from pneumonia and has been "placed in an artificial coma to optimise the treatment", said palace spokesman Pierre-Emmanuel de Bauw. His condition "is stable", the spokesman added.

Obama congratulates new king of the Belgians

President Barack Obama sent best wishes to Belgium's new King Philippe on Sunday after the abdication of his father, Albert II. "On behalf of the American people, the president congratulates His Majesty King Philippe on the occasion of his investiture as King of the Belgians," the White House said in a statement. Philippe, 53, was sworn into office by the joint houses of parliament shortly after Albert,79, stepped down, citing failing health.

Prince Philippe sworn in as new king of Belgium

Prince Philippe took the oath as Belgium's seventh king Sunday, shortly after Albert II abdicated, amid hopes he can live up to his father's work in keeping the fragile country united. Philippe, 53, was sworn in at just after noon (1015 GMT) before parliament, pledging to serve and protect the country to the best of his ability. bur/bmm/yad
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