LETTER: From royalty in Belgium to Destin

Sam Lombardo

Received Christmas greetings from His Majesty, King Philippe of Belgium.

During mid-December 1994, my division, the 99th Infantry Division, held its annual reunion in St. Louis, Mo. Because the 99th Division fought in the Battle of the Bulge, Prince Philippe of Belgium attended the reunion.

I met Prince Philippe during that period, and had a good visit with him. Ever since that time, I sent him our division newspaper and we exchanged Christmas cards every year. The Prince was single at the time of our reunion.

In addition to the Christmas cards, Prince Philippe sent me photos and notice of his wedding and notices and photos when each child was born.

On July 21, 2013, Prince Philippe became king of Belgium upon the abdication of his father, King Albert the II, who was 79 years old.

Recently, I received a Christmas card from the now King Philippe, with photograph that included the prince, his wife Princess Mathilde, and children, Elisabeth, Gabriel, Emmanuel and Eléonore.

Sam Lombardo