Born in 1930, Prince Baudouin of Belgium succeeded his father, King Leopold III, in 1951. After reigning for 42 years, King Baudouin died in 1993. Throughout his reign, Belgium was marked by profound economic and social changes, by the decolonisation of the Congo and by the political transformation from a unitary to a federal state. Belgium promoted the cause of NATO and served at the forefront of European integration. At a more personal level, King Baudouin was highly respected for his deep social commitments, fighting against all forms of inequality in both Belgium and the developing world.