Archief Koninklijk Paleis / Archives du Palais Royal

  • Archives of the Royal Palace

History

By virtue of the Ministerial Decree of the 10th of January 1967, this archives service is a section of the National Archives and the State Archives in the Provinces (the State Archives, in short). The service is under the authority of the King’s Cabinet, but administered by a Chief Archivist, member of the scientific personnel of the State Archives.

Archival and Other Holdings

The Archives of the Royal Palace preserve all archives produced by the departments and services of the Royal Palace – in principle since the 21st of July 1831, when Prince Leopold of Saxe-Cobourg (1790-1865) took the constitutional oath as King of the Belgians. The Archives comprise the archives of the department of the grand Marshal of the Court, the King’s Cabinet, the King’s Civil List, the King’s Military Household, and – for the period from 1914 to 1944 – the King’s Secretariat. Furthermore they comprise the archives of the Secretariat of Queen Elisabeth, of the Secretariat of the Count and Countess of Flanders, of the Secretariat of Prince Leopold and Princess Astrid, and of the Secretariat of Prince Charles. One has to also point out the presence of the archives of former Prime Minister Joseph Pholien and of the archives of the “Fonds Goffinet” (comprising among others the archives of Queen Elisabeth and the archives of King Leopold II and his collaborators, Adrien, Auguste and Constant Goffinet). The content and significance of these archives reflect the tasks and competences of their respective producers. The study of the former Head of the King’s Cabinet, Mr. André Molitor (see bibliography), offers an overview over these archives. The Archives of the Royal Palace also preserve a “Maps, Plans and Illustrations” collection, a “Photographs” collection and a “Medal Collection”.

An overview (unpublished) over the entire archives can be consulted in the reading room of the Archives of the Royal Palace. All consultable archive groups have an unpublished archive list or an inventory. These research aids can be consulted on the spot by researchers. For some archive groups, a detailed inventory has been published.

Finally, the Archives of the Royal Palace possess a library in which mainly works on the monarchy and the political history of Belgium, a part of the archives of Queen Elisabeth (including her music library) as well as series of official publications (Belgian Official Journal, Royal Almanac, Annals of the Administration and the Judiciary of Belgium) are preserved.

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

A number of inventories of the Archives of the Royal Palace are available online. You can find them in the section Activities\Publications\Inventories

Conditions of Access

The consultation of documents is subject to the regulations stipulated in the rules of the service, of which every visitor will be given a copy. Prior to consultation an appointment must be made with the Archivist.