After her secondary education in Brussels, Princess Astrid studied art history for a year at Leiden in the Netherlands. She completed her education in Geneva, at the Institute of European Studies and in Michigan in the United States.
In Brussels on 22 September 1984, Princess Astrid married Lorenz, Arch-Duke d'Autriche-Este, who became Prince of Belgium in 1995. The Prince was born in Boulogne-Billancourt on 16 December 1955.
The princely couple have five children, all born in Belgium: Amedeo (21 February 1986) Maria Laura (26 August 1988, Joachim (9 December 1991), Luisa Maria (11 October 1995) and Laetitia Maria (23 April 2003).
Princess Astrid was Chairwoman of the Belgian Red Cross between 1994-2007. As Honorary Chairwoman of the Queen Elisabeth Medical Foundation and the European Organisation on Research and Treatment of Cancer(EORTC) Princess Astrid supports clinical and fundamental research. She regularly visits research projects and patients in Medical Institutes and Clinics.
The Princess is also active in the fight against epidemics and pandemics : i.e. as “Special Representative” of the Roll Back Malaria partnership she engages in raising awareness of the deadly consequences of the disease and assists in mobilizing resources to fight malaria.
Princess Astrid is also particularly concerned by the plight of victims of violence i.e. domestic violence or violence against civilians in war circumstances. She is therefore fully engaged in the efforts to ban antipersonnel mines and cluster munition.
Princess Astrid is known to be highly concerned about persons who - through a variety of circumstances - become marginalized citizens. She visits and encourages in many ways those Organisations which offer assistance to those who are in need of help.
Princess Astrid made the following statement during the Woman’s Forum for Economy and Society in Deauville, October 2007:”I seek to respond to the need of vulnerable people, in particular the groups of citizens who risk falling thru the safety net, whether in Belgium or abroad, but refuse to conform to the image of the ”Lady of Charity”. Instead I seek to respond to the trust others put into me by activating a network of people and institutions which can bring about concrete results for the benefit of those who are in need of it.”
End of June 2009 the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board ratified the appointment of Princess Astrid as a member of the IPC Honorary Board.
Since 22 November 1996, Princess Astrid has been a member of the Belgian Senate as senator by right. She also joined the Belgian Armed Forces on 22 May 1997. The Princess is a Colonel in the Medical Unit.
On June 20th, the Secretariat of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention/Ottawa Convention announced that Princess Astrid - as Special Envoy of the Convention - has joined a task force which will undertake diplomatic efforts to obtain the signature of the Convention by States not yet party to it.
Princess Astrid performs her public duties as expected within the context of the Royal Family with particular interest for the problems of our contemporary society.
Princess Astrid was born on 5 June 1962