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Empress 08-11-2006 02:57 PM

The Belgian Royal Family and the name Marie

I was just wondering if anyone knew why almost all if not all of the Belgian Royal Family (that are born into the family) have the name Marie.

I know that Queen Victoria once stated that all of her male descendants needed to have the name Albert in their name, but I know nothing of the sort for the Belgian family.

Does any one have any information on this? There are just a few examples below.. It is the same in the Luxembourg Royal Family.



Léopold Philippe Charles Albert Meinrad Hubertus Marie Miguel
Joséphine-Charlotte Ingeborg Elisabeth Marie-José Marguerite Astrid
Baudouin/Boudewijn Albert Charles Léopold Axel Marie Gustave
Albert Félix Humbert Théodore Chrétien Eugène Marie
Alexander Emmanuel Henry Albert Marie Léopold
Marie-Christine Daphné Astrid Elisabeth Léopoldine,
Maria-Esmeralda Adélaïde Lilian Anne Léopoldine,
Marie-Astrid Charlotte Léopoldine Wilhelmine Ingeborg Antoinette Elisabeth Anna Alberta

Emily 08-11-2006 03:00 PM

Someone recently published the names in Mathilde's mother's family and all the women had the name Maria in their names -- perhaps it is a religious thing?

Maxie 08-11-2006 03:00 PM

I think it has something to do with the catholic faith. It's common practice for catholics to choose the name Marie/Mary/Maria as one of the names for children to honour the Virgin Mary. But there might as well be another reason, I'm not sure... :flowers:

Empress 08-11-2006 03:01 PM

I might could go for that, except all of the men have it in their names as well.

Maxie 08-11-2006 03:03 PM

That's possible too. I have several male catholic friends who have Maria as one of their names too... :smile:

Empress 08-11-2006 03:07 PM

All in all though, its just seems to be a bit much

Oppie 08-11-2006 03:08 PM

It is also part of King Juan Carlos name (Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María) and most of the Liechtenstein royal family, so I do believe it is a Catholic tradition.

GrandDuchess 08-11-2006 03:51 PM

It is indeed a catholic custom to use the name of Maria/Marie in a persons name, wheter male or female. I think this custom is quite widespread, it's used at least in one or more parts of Germany and the European catholic countries. The name José is also a part of this custom I think.

I don't know much about this, but it would be interesting to learn more. Maybe we have one or several catholic members who can expain the cultural use of it?

crisiñaki 08-11-2006 03:57 PM

in catholic countries is very spread the use of names such as Jose (Joseph) for boys and Maria (Mary,Marie) specially in older generations 'cuz in old times people was usually named for the saint of the day, for example if you were born in 10th September, it is Saint Nicholas of Tolentine's day so you were called Nicholas or Nicolás, it was a very widespread tradition in South America and Spain, and if you notice, the members of the SRF continue it (Cristina's fourth name is Antonia for Saint Anthony of Padua, Elena's fourth name is Dominica for Saint Dominic of Silos, etc):flowers:

ladybelline 08-11-2006 04:02 PM

I'll try to answer this. In my family, everyone, including men, was given Marie as a part of their names. My grandmother explained once it was because of the family's devotion to the Virgin Mary, especially Our-Lady-of-Lourdes, in France.

Maybe the Belgian Royal Family has a special devotion, a special recognition for her too?

Maxie 08-11-2006 04:10 PM

I was thinking about all this Marie-stuff and I remembered a nice anecdote which probably is nice to share with you all.:flowers:

As a matter of fact, I'm catholic and have four names, of which the last starts with a M. A friend once asked me if the M stood for Maria. He was quite surprised when I told him that the M stood for Monica, since I'm named after my godmother whose name is Monique. Being catholic and having Monica instead of Maria just wasn't possible according to him (he's one of my male friends with Maria as one of his names...). :innocent:
Now I come to think of it, we don't have a Maria tradition in my family. We all got a dozen of names, but almost none of us has Maria in it...

Empress 08-11-2006 05:50 PM

I am Catholic as well and have multiple names, but Maria is not one of them. In fact come to think of it, only one person that I know of in my extended family is names Mary

Maxie 08-11-2006 06:00 PM

Well, maybe it's an European thing, I don't know. It's actual quite funny that several people from different countries say the same on this matter, I think that naming your child Marie/Mary/Maria after Holy Mary is widespread on this continent. :angel:

magnik 08-11-2006 06:23 PM


Originally Posted by Emily
Someone recently published the names in Mathilde's mother's family and all the women had the name Maria in their names -- perhaps it is a religious thing?

Yes, me and Anna Nowak.
Anna Maria countess Komorowska's siblings
1. Gabriel Maria (1943 in Siedliska- )
2. Róża (Rose) Maria (1945 in Cracow- )
3. Anna Maria (1946 in Białogard, near Koszalin- ) married Patrick -civil 1.IX.1971 - Forville, church 11.IX.1971 -Hannut;
4. Michał Leon (1953 in Cracow- ), one of his doughters is Maria Jadwiga
5. Krystyna Maria (1955 in Cracow- ) , one of her dugts is Noemie Marie
6. Maria Teresa (1958 in Gomo, Congo- ).

Yes, I think that's after Virgin Mary. Many women and men have the name of Maira as one of their names. In Polish history, we have few queens which first name was Maria, but as a respect to the Virgin Mary, Queen of Poland these queens must used two names like f.ex Maria Casimiera wife of the King John III in XVIIth century.

Marie, Maria in BRF:
kings - Leopold II (Leopold Louis Philippe Marie),Albert I (Albert, Léopold Clément Marie Meinrad); Leopold III (Leopold Philippe Charles Albert Meinrad Hubertus Marie Miguel); Baudoin I (Baudouin Albert Charles Leopold Axel Marie Gustave); Albert II (Albert Felix Humbert Theodore Chretien Eugene Marie).

queens - Louise-Marie d'Orleans (1812-1850), Marie Henriette (1836-1902), Elisabeth Gabriele Valérie Marie (1876-1965); Fabiola Fernanda Maria de las Victorias Antonia Adelaida (1928- ); Paola Margherita Maria Antonia Consiglia (1937- ).

princesses - Marie-Charlottle Amelie Auguste Victoire Clementine Leopoldine (1840-1927) Empress of Mexico; Loise-Marie Amelie (1858-1924); Stephanie Clotilde Louise Hermine Marie Charlotte (1864-1945) wife od Archduke Rudolf; Clementine Albertine Leopoldine Marie (1872-1955) wife of prince Napoleon Victor Bonaparte (1862-1926); Marie (1845-1912) wife of prince Philippe, comte de Flandre; Henriette Marie Charlotte Antoinette(1870-1948); Maria José (1906-2001); Josephine-Charlotte Ingeborg Elisabeth Marie-Jose Marguerite Astrid (1927-2005);Mary Lilian Baels (1916-2002); Marie-Christine (1951- ); Maria-Esmeralda (1956- ); Mathilde Marie Christine Ghislaine, Dss of Brabant; Élisabeth Thérèse Marie Hélène (2001- ); Astrid Joséphine-Charlotte Fabrizia Elisabeth Paola Maria (1962- ); Maria Laura Zita Beatrix Gerhard (1988- ); Luisa Maria Anna Martine Pilar (1995- ); Laetitia Maria Nora Anna Joachim Zita (2003- ); Louise Sophie Mary (2004- ).

princes - Leopold Ferdinand Elie Victor Albert Maire, count of hainaut, D. Brabant (1859-69); Alexander Emmanuel Henry Albert Marie Léopold (1942- ); Philippe Léopold Louis Marie, duke of Brabant; Gabriel Baudouin Charles Marie (2003- ); Emmanuel Leopold Guillaume François Marie (2005);Lorenz Otto Carl Amadeus Thadeus Maria Pius Andreas Marcus (1955- ); Amedeo Marie Joseph Carl Pierre Philippe Paola Marcus (1986- ); Joachim Carl Maria Nikolaus Isabelle Marcus (1991- ); Laurent Benoît Baudouin Marie (1963- ); Nicolas Casimir Marie (2005- )ymeric Auguste Marie (2005- ).

Cathérine Bergeyck 08-12-2006 05:37 AM

Marie has always been a very prominent name in Belgium, if not the most prominent.

It's not an unusual thing for catholics to have 'Marie' or 'Maria' as one of your names. Especially not in Belgium and France, for as far as I know.

the 'Mary cult' has always been very important within roman catholic belief, a cult very close to the "common people" and not necessarily to the church as an institution. After all it refers in the first place to the love of a mother for her child.

So in a lot of families it's a tradition use Marie/Maria as one of the names. In the past a first daughter was practically always called Marie/Maria and a first son Joseph in Belgium. In the sixties a name with Marie/Maria as prefix (Marie-Hélène, Marie-Astrid, Marie-Mathilde etc.) was considered upper class. And finally nowadays the name Marie as a first name is very popular again in Belgium.

In 2004 these were the most popular girls names in Belgium:



AELYS 06-24-2008 04:39 AM

it is indeed a tradition to put marie in your name even for boys.
it's like a protection and most of catholics in europe bear the name of marie,
but some of parents does not wish to put marie.

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