Names chosen by Flemish politicians

Today is election day in Belgium and while people were heading to polling stations I’ve been looking into the names that Flanders’ (the Dutch speaking region of Belgium) most known politicians have chosen for their children.

Herman de Croo and his wife Françoise Desguin have a son named ALEXANDER (1975) and a daughter named ARIANE. Alexander is a well-known politician as well and he has two sons of his own named TOBIAS (2008) and GABRIËL (2011). After Gabriël was born, Alexander explained that he and his wife Annik decided on the name while they were on their way to the hospital. As his wife was due two weeks later, they thought they still had some time to make a decision. Gabriël was one of the names on their list and they just thought it was a beautiful name that’s being used in many languages and means ‘power of God’.

On the same day Gabriël de Croo was born, politician Wouter Beke’s wife Leen Desmyter gave birth to the couple’s third child MINE (2011). She joined older brother WARRE (2004) and sister NETTE (2011). 

Filip Dewinter and his wife Lutgarde have three grown-up daughters named KAROLIEN (1989), AN-SOFIE (1991) and VERONIEK (1994). His extreme-right wing party member Anke Van dermeersch also chose typically Flemish names for her daughter SILKE (2005) and her son STEF (2008). The late Marie-Rose Morel, who used to belong to the same party for a while, named her sons ALEXANDER (2004) and MARNIX (2006).

Bart De Wever and his wife Veerle Hegge also picked typically Flemish names for their children. In 2007 LIESBET (Flemish variant of Elisabeth) joined older siblings HENDRIK (Flemish variant of Henry), KATRIEN (Flemish variant of Katherine) and SIMON.


Bart De Wever with his wife and children on their wedding day a few years ago.

Bart De Wever’s direct competitor for the position of mayor of Antwerp, the largest city in the Flanders region of Belgium, is Patrick Janssens. He has two adult sons named IBEN and JENTEN from his first marriage and two sons – WILLEM FREDERIK (2011) and KAREL JAN (2012) – with current wife Sabine Steels.

A few decades ago the name Karel was also chosen by another politician, namely Geert Bourgeois. KAREL Bourgeois has one brother named PIETER. Around that time Leona Detiège also became a mother to daughter MAYA, who became a politician in her own right and has two daughters named TINE and MERET.

In the 1960s and early 1970s former Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene and Celie became parents to daughters MIEKE and HILDE as well as sons TOM and KOEN. In the 1980s Karel De Gucht and his wife Mireille Schreurs welcomed their sons JEAN-JACQUES (1983) and FREDERIC.

Pieter De Crem and his wife Caroline Bergez chose names with royal flair for their children when they named their son CONSTANTIJN and their daughters ALICIA and VICTORIA.

Eva Brems has two sons named NATHAN and RUBEN, and Ingrid Lieten has two boys named PIM and MATS. Freya Van den Bossche has a son named MOSES (2009) as well as two daughters named ARIANE (1999) and BILLIE (2005).

Former Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt has a son named LOUIS (1993) and a daughter named CHARLOTTE (1990). The name CHARLOTTE was also chosen by Frank Vanhecke and Ria Roose for their daughter. She has a brother named EWOUT (1985) and a sister named EMMA (1991). Around the same time Yves Leterme and Sofie Haesen welcomed their sons MATTHIAS and THOMAS and their daughter JULIE.

In late 2005 it was announced that Sophie Pécriaux was expecting and that fellow politician Rik Daems was the father. Their daughter SASHA (2006) joined an older half sister named ANDREA, Rik’s daughter from his previous marriage.

So far my list of names that Flemish politicians chose for their children. If you have any additions, feel free to leave them in a comment and I’ll add them later on.

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