For the bargain price of just under €2 million, King Albert II is selling his personal yacht, the Alpa IV, currently moored in the south of France.
The Alpa IV – the name is made up of the first two letters of the names of Albert and his wife Queen Paola – was bought new in 2009 for €4.6 million, which makes the selling price now of €1,950,000 appear very reasonable.
The boat has been advertised online for a week, but rumours are circulating that it has actually been on offer for longer, which may explain the deep price discount.
The yacht is described as being 28m in length, capable of carrying 12 for a cruise, with berths for eight – two double cabins and two twins. The yacht requires a crew of three.
Cruising speed is 25 knots, but the boat can reach 31 knots at top speed.
The reason for the sale is not given, but is clearly part of the life story of most elderly people: Albert (87) and Paola (83) are no longer able to live in the luxury they once enjoyed, and are having to downsize.
In 2009, when the then-king bought the yacht, he was still well off. Since handing over the throne in 2013 to his son Philippe, however, he and Paola are having to get by on only €900,000 a year, or a mere €75,000 a month.
That has given rise to some complaints from the former king, who claims he was originally promised €1.4 million a year.
The solution is to sell the yacht, although the couple still have a home in the south of France where they can now spend as much time as they wish, without the burden of royal duties. In any case, in recent times the yacht itself has been mainly moored, when not being used by the children of Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent.