Prince Laurent of Belgium placed in induced coma

Saint-Luc University Hospital where Prince Laurent is hospitalised
Photo: Laurent Dubrule

(AFP)  Prince Laurent of Belgium, the daredevil younger brother of King Philippe, has been placed in a medically-induced coma in a Brussels hospital, the palace said Tuesday.

The 50-year-old prince, 11th in line to the throne, was rushed to hospital a week ago suffering from pneumonia and has been "placed in an artificial coma to optimise the treatment", said palace spokesman Pierre-Emmanuel de Bauw.

His condition "is stable", the spokesman added.

King Philippe, the oldest son of Albert II who abdicated in his favour last year, visited Laurent on Monday while Queen Mathilde went to the hospital Tuesday.

Fined several times for speeding and chided for fraternising with African leaders without the government's consent, Laurent has long been considered the "enfant terrible" of the Belgian royal family.

The fast-living prince was hospitalised with internal injuries in February last year after he fell while skiing in Austria.