Queen Mathilde turns 42: Facts about the Belgian royal

Sophie, the Countess of Wessex isn't the only royal celebrating a birthday on Tuesday. As the British royal turns 50, one of her counterparts, Queen Mathilde of Belgium, turns 42. The mother of four, who has been married to King Philippe since 1999, is a regular fixture at royal weddings and events around Europe and is often praised for her style.

Queen Mathilde, 42, is known for her charity work and elegant style

In honor of the Belgian royal's birthday, here are 9 fun facts about her:

1. The future queen was born Jonkvrouw Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz on January 20, 1973. Jonkvrouw means "young lady."

2. Mathilde, the daughter of Count and Countess Patrick d'Udekem d'Acoz, was born into nobility. She met Prince Philippe while playing tennis in 1996 (talk about a love match) and the couple now have four children, Princess Elisabeth, 12, who is first in line for the throne, Prince Gabriel, 10, Prince Emmanuel, 8, and Princess Eléonore, 5.

3. During her engagement she was made a Princess, and when she married, Mathilde was given the title of The Duchess of Brabant, before becoming The Queen of the Belgians after her husband's coronation in July, 2013.

Mathilde is the first Belgian-born Queen consort of the Belgians

4. Mathilde is connected to other royal families. She is godmother to Princess Alexia of the Netherlands and Princess Isabella of Denmark.

5. Like other royals, Queen Mathilde has been praised for her elegant, sophisticated style. The mother of four has frequently been named one of the world's best-dressed women.

6. Mathilde often supports her husband King Philippe on royal duties overseas, including an economic mission to Vietnam in 2012, and the couple attended the wedding of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge in London in April 2011.

The Queen represents Belgium on many state visits and serves as patron of numerous charities

7. The European royal speaks several languages, including French, Dutch, English and Italian. Before marrying Philippe, she worked as a speech therapist at her own practice in Brussels.

8. Since becoming a member of the Belgium royal family, Mathilde has dedicated her time to royal duties, taking part in the annual World Economic Forum in Davos and becoming the honorary president of UNICEF Belgium.

Queen Mathilde and King Philippe married in 1999

9. During her younger years, Mathilde spent time backpacking with friends in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Happy Birthday, Queen Mathilde!

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