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Old 02-03-2019, 06:39 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
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Originally Posted by Gawin View Post
Some information about Baudouin:

He was raised as the heir to the throne following the birth of his cousin Clementine in 1872.

His education was entrusted to the liberal Jules Bosmans, which "provoked strong opposition in the ultramontane press."

He made himself popular in Flanders by delivering a speech in Dutch and by standing for the unofficial Flemish anthem. The Flemish, who felt discriminated against, regarded him as their saviour.

At the age of 15 he was sent to the Royal Military School, where (unlike his father and uncle) he would receive a military education in close contact with the other students.

In 1889 he assumed command of the 263 men of the first regiment of the carabiniers.

In 1891 he caught a cold that rapidly developed into bronchitis, resulting in his death at 22.

"For many observers, Baudouin embodied both military duty and the fulfillment of bourgeois values. In order to attract popularity his simple lifestyle and his demonstrative solidarity with the soldiers were deliberately made visible and known to the public."

His death "mobilized socialist and Flamingant sentiments in the politically opinionated national press." Flemish papers "portrayed the deceased heir presumptive as their 'Flemish Prince' who had symbolized the end of discrimination and represented hope for the future." But francophone papers were "noticeably unkeen to recall the Flemish sympathies of the prince and neglected or minimized Baudouin's Dutch speeches in their memorial articles."

King Leopold II made all the major decisions regarding Baudouin's funeral and burial. "He clearly found it difficult that royal funerals had become increasingly national and public events. Many non-related foreign monarchs and heads of state intended to send a special mission to Baudouin's funeral, but Leopold II declined them all. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister asked Leopold to reconsider this decision, indicating that an increased sense of theatricality and national representation of monarchies had become the expected norm." At the same time, "he did not dare to refuse the delegation from the German Emperor Wilhelm II and personally and with full military honours received Prince Heinrich of Prussia, the emperor's brother, at the train station."

Queen Victoria sent her son-in-law Prince Henry of Battenberg.

"A small deputation of the Prussian regiment of which Baudouin was captain was also allowed to participate in the funeral in Brussels and Prince Albert, the new heir presumptive, walked next to Heinrich of Prussia in his uniform of the Royal Military School."

Source: Christoph De Spiegeleer, "1834-1869-1891: The Untimely Deaths of Three Heirs to the Belgian Throne," in Sons and Heirs: Succession and Political Culture in Nineteenth-Century Europe, ed. Frank Lorenz Muller and Heidi Mehrkens (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), pp. 179-195.


More detailed information including pictures of Baudouin:

The Esoteric Curiosa: Heir Interrupted! The Sudden Loss Of Belgium's Golden Prince!

Thank you for the fascinating information as well as the sources.

I never knew that Prince Baudouin showed signs of support of the Flemish movement – could the close contact with others at military school perhaps have brought him into the sphere of various political movements? In light of his massive popularity and position as the future king of the Belgians, it is understandable that both the Flemish and Francophone press were sensitive to the prospect of a "Flemish prince".


Regarding the discussion of the dynastic titles of the Belgian royal family:

All conferrals of dynastic titles (Duke of Brabant in 1840, Count of Flanders in 1840 and 1910, Count of Hainaut in 1859 and 1930, and Prince of Liège in 1934) were ad personam, so that none of those titles were legally hereditary. Two of them were, however, automatic on the basis of birth order and gender: The oldest son of the reigning king was automatically Duke of Brabant from 1840 to 2001, and his oldest son was automatically Count of Hainaut from 1930 to 2001.

Thus, the royal decree of October 16, 2001 had to deal with the automatic titles (Brabant and Hainaut), but not the other two (Flanders and Liège). The title Count of Flanders reverted to the crown in 1983 on Prince Charles' death, and the title Prince of Liège merged with the crown in 1993 when Prince Albert succeeded as King.

See this link for the decrees creating the titles and a link to the decree of 2001:

By the way, as an addition to my earlier comment, the fact that Prince Baudouin (and the other members of the royal family prior to the 1891 decree) was not formally a "Prince of (Name of country)" was not unique to the Belgian royal family. Even in the present day, I believe the royal families of Britain and Norway are simply "Princess/Prince" rather than "Princess/Prince of Great Britain" or "Princess/Prince of Norway".

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Old 02-04-2019, 06:16 AM
maria-olivia's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Posts: 5,676
This thread about our Prince Baudouin is so confusing that I wll stop to contribute. MO

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