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Old 09-06-2007, 01:30 PM
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King Leopold I of The Belgians (1790-1865)

King Leopold II (1790-1865)

This thread is about King Leopold I The Belgians (Coburg 16 Dec 1790-Laeken 10 Dec 1865)

Parents: Duke Franz of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and King Leopold I of The Belgians and Princess Louise-Marie of France (Orleans)

First wife: Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales

Second wife: Princess Louise-Marie of France (Orleans)

Children: Prince Louis-Phillipe, King Leopold II of The Belgians, Prince Phillip of Belgium, Count of Flanders, Empress Charlotte (Carlota) of Mexico

Siblings: Countess Sophie of Mensdorf-Pouilly, Duchess Antoinette of Wurttemberg, Grand Duchess Juliana/Anna Feodorovna of Russia, Duke Ernst of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Prince Franz of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Princess Victoria of Great-Britain, Duchess of Kent, Princess Marianne and Prince Franz-Alexander of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.



Note that all images posted in this thread by me are free of copyrights, unless stated differently. The TRF policy conserning copyrights has not changed
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Old 09-06-2007, 04:15 PM
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Leopold I (Leopold George Christian Frederick of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, later of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha) (b. Coburg, 16 December 1790 - d. Laeken/Laken, 10 December 1865) was from 21 July 1831 the first King of the Belgians. He was the founder of the Belgian line of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. His children included Leopold II of Belgium and Empress Carlota of Mexico.

He was the youngest son of Franz Frederick Anton, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Princess Augusta Reuss-Ebersdorf, and later became a prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha after the territorial swap by his father in Ehrenburg Castle in the Bavarian town of Coburg. He was also the uncle of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
In 1795, as a mere child, Leopold was appointed colonel of the Izmailovski Imperial Regiment in Russia. Seven years later he became a general. When Napoleonic troops occupied the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg in 1806 Leopold went to Paris. Napoléon offered him the position of adjutant, but he refused. Instead he took up a military career in the Imperial Russian cavalry. He campaigned against Napoléon, and distinguished himself at the Battle of Kulm at the head of his cuirassier division. In 1815 Leopold reached the rank of lieutenant-general in the Russian army.

Read the entire wikipedia article here.

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Old 09-06-2007, 04:16 PM
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From the website of the Belgian RF, so free of copyrights:

1790
On 16 December, in Coburg, Bavaria, birth of Leopold, Georges, Chrétien, Frédéric, son of His Ducal Highness François, reigning Duke of Saxe-Cobourg Saalfeld.

1795
Leopold was appointed by the Russian Czar as Colonel of the Ismailovski Regiment of the Imperial Guard. He became a general seven years later.

1806
The Duchy was occupied by Napoleon's troops. Leopold stayed in Paris and became a familiar figure at the Imperial Court. The Emperor wanted to make him an Aide de Camp. Leopold refused.

He would succeed his brother at the head of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. He would then participate in the campaigns against Napoleon.

1815
Leopold acquired British nationality, was made a Field Marshal, and married Princess Charlotte, heir to the British throne. Less than a year later, she would give birth to a stillborn child, before dying herself.

1830
Leopold refused the crown of Greece.

1831
On 21 July, he took the oath as the first King of the Belgians He devoted most of his reign to consolidating the young state.

On 2 August, King William of the Netherlands invaded Belgium. The intervention of the Great Powers saved the new state. Its status was reduced, particularly by annexation of some of its territory and the obligation to pay a toll to the Netherlands for ships to sail on the Scheldt. (Treaty of the 24 Articles)

1832
On 9 August, Leopold married Louise-Marie, daughter of Louis-Philippe, King of France.

1835
Inauguration of the first railway line (Brussels-Malines) in continental Europe. This was the culmination of a project on which the King had been working since 1832.

1842
Leopold attempted to obtain legislation on the labour of women and children. But the time was not ripe.

1848
A Republican revolution removed Louis-Philippe from the throne of France. Its repercussions were felt throughout Europe, but spared Belgium, largely due to the diplomatic action of the King.

1850
On 11 October, Queen Louise-Marie died.
1865
On 10 December, death of King Leopold.

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Old 09-06-2007, 05:00 PM
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Leopold first married Princess Charlotte of Wales, heir to the British throne:

Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales (7 January 1796 – 6 November 1817) was the only child of the ill-fated marriage between George IV (at the time Prince of Wales) and Caroline of Brunswick.

She was born at Carlton House in London, her birth being something of a miracle as George IV later claimed that he and his wife had sex no more than three times in the whole of their marriage. By the time she was a few months old, Charlotte's parents were effectively separated, and her mother's time with her was severely restricted by her father.
She grew into a headstrong and difficult teenager, and fell out with her mother when Caroline decided to go into continental exile. Following an ill-fated attempt to wed her to Prince Willem of Orange (later William II of the Netherlands) which she broke off after he made a drunken exhibition of himself at Ascot races, she spent much of her time restricted to Cranbourne Lodge at Windsor, Berkshire from July 1814 to January 1816 while Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld lobbied the Prince Regent and the British Parliament for the right to court.

Read the entire wikipedia article here.

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Old 09-06-2007, 05:02 PM
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Three paintings of Charlotte of Wales, first wife of Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld:

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Old 09-06-2007, 05:04 PM
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A large portrait of Leopold when he was still in England:

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Old 09-06-2007, 05:05 PM
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His parents, Duke Franz of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Princess Augusta of Reuss:

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Old 09-06-2007, 05:05 PM
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Two of the weapons Leopold I used:

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Old 09-06-2007, 05:12 PM
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Leopold I married Princess Louise-Marie of France (Orleans). The couple got 3 children; Leopold (II), Phillipe and Charlotte.

Wedding of Leopold and Louise-Marie:



The couple:

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Old 09-06-2007, 05:13 PM
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The family:

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Old 09-06-2007, 05:14 PM
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Leopold I taking the oath as King of the Belgians:

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Old 09-06-2007, 05:14 PM
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Celebrating his silver jubilee:

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Old 09-06-2007, 05:25 PM
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Three portraits of a young Leopold, still married to Princess Charlotte of Wales:

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Old 10-11-2007, 09:10 AM
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I see that the Belgian RF website brushed out Caroline Bauer (?). Leopold was married to her, right? She was a niece of Stockmar. Did he ever aquire a divorce or was the thing hushed up like with George IV?
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:49 PM
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From what I know, Leopold had an affair with Caroline after Charlotte's death. They may or may not have married, and she was Stockmar's cousin...

Belgian Royal Family
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Although not mentioned in most Royal Genealogy sources Leopold married secondly and morganatically Caroline Bauer in 1829 apparently by signing a contract rather than in a religious wedding. They were divorced not long after with Caroline returning to her acting career. Caroline died in 1877 from an overdose of sleeping-pills and in 1885 a posthumous book "Memoirs" was published giving details of her life with Leopold. Caroline Bauer was a cousin to Baron Stockmar advisor to Leopold and his niece Queen Victoria of Great Britain
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Old 06-15-2008, 02:37 PM
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Here a picture of Carlota and brothers.
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:17 PM
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The previous image is similar to this lithograph of King Leopold I and his family c.1850 from Le Journal des Demoiselles (need to check)

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Old 06-14-2009, 12:28 AM
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Is there a reason why Leopold I was chosen to be the first king? The wikipedia article on the Monarchy of Belgium says that the National Congress on 1830 originally nominated the son of Louis-Phillipe of France to be their King.
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by RoyalistRiley View Post
Is there a reason why Leopold I was chosen to be the first king? The wikipedia article on the Monarchy of Belgium says that the National Congress on 1830 originally nominated the son of Louis-Phillipe of France to be their King.
The National Congress of 1830 was seriously considering only 3 candidates: Louis, Duke of Nemours (the son of King Louis-Philippe of France), Auguste de Beauharnais, 2nd Duke of Leuchtenberg and Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg (who eventually became King Leopold I).

The congress was heavily under the British influence. Louis, Duke of Nemours was not an acceptable figure for the British, who were afraid that the new Kingdom would be too heavily influenced by the French, if the son of the French King became its Monarch.
There were also other reasons why the Duke of Nemours wasn't chosen King of Belgians; he accompanied the French army that entered the Belgium to support it in its fight for independence from the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and took part in the siege of Antwerp. Therefore, he was unacceptable candidate for the Netherlands as well.
King Louis-Philippe personally declined the honour of accepting the Throne for his son (even though the final decision of inviting the Duke of Nemours hadn't been made at the time, so it was a symbolic gesture).


Auguste de Beauharnais, 2nd Duke of Leuchtenberg was considered too young to become a King for the newly founded Kingdom, which needed an able ruler to resist possible attack from the Netherlands (incidentally, soon after Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg became King Leopold I, the Netherlands did attack the newly founded Kingdom of Belgium). There were also reservations concerning his health (not unfounded, for he died at the age of 25, 5 years after the National Congress). His candidacy was supported only by the Dutch, but actively opposed to by the British and French.

Leopold was almost a perfect candidate for most of the parties involved (except France, who was initially apposed to his nomination).
Britain actively supported Leopold, as he was the widowed of Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales (the only daughter of King George IV). King George (then Prince Regent) was very fond of his son-in-law even after Charlotte's death; a year after Princess Charlotte's death, the Prince Regent granted Prince Leopold the style of Royal Highness. Although King George IV died months before the Congress commenced, his successor, King William IV, was also very fond of the husband of his late niece and actively supported Prince Leopold's candidacy (especially since the other two were the unacceptable (for British) candidates put forward by France and the Netherlands - Duke of Nemours and Auguste de Beauharnais).
Russia was also strongly for Prince Leopold's candidacy; at the age of 5, Leopold was appointed Colonel of the Izmaulovsky Imperial Regiment in Russia, at the age of 13 he was already a Major General. Although Prince Leopold was initially inclined to join Napoleon's army, he changed his mind after Napoleon's invasion of his native Sage-Coburg and continued his career in the Russian Imperial Army. He successfully campaigned against Napoleon during the latter Russian Campaign and won praises for his courage and leadership in the Battle of Kulm. At the age of 25, Prince Leopold reached the rank of Lieutenant General in the Imperial Russian Army.
He was exactly the sort of King/Commander the Belgians needed at those turbulent times. He enjoyed the support of Britain and Russia and no major party opposed him. Even France withdraw its objections soon after the Congress's start (possibly after his engagement to Marie-Louise of France, the eldest daughter of King Louis-Philippe of France, was agreed on). With the backing of Britain, Russia and France, it was hardly surprising he was eventually chosen to become King.

There was one more candidate, which was briefly considered by the congress - Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen. However, the Duke of Teschen never had a lot of support and none of the major parties (apart from the Dutch, and only briefly) considered him seriously.
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:34 AM
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Leopold Ier and Louise-Marie had 4 children : Louis-Philippe (= called Babochon +), Leopold II, Philippe Count of Flandres and Charlotte last Empress of Mexico. Queen Louise-Marie died when she was only 38 .
His officiel mistress was Arcadie Claret , burried at the Laeken's cimetery.
Altough evereybody know about Arcadie , his morganitic wedding in Germany (1929) is 99% unkown. He has children with Arcadie , they are unknown yet.
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