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Marengo 08-31-2007 10:51 AM

Queen Marie-Henriette of The Belgians (1836-1902)
Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902)

This thread is about Queen Marie-Henriette of The Belgians, born Princess Imperial & Archduchess of Austria, Princess Royal of Hungary & Bohemia (Budapest 23 Aug 1836-Spa 20 Sept 1902)

Parents: Archduke Joseph of Austria, Palatine of Hungary and Duchess Maria-Dorothea of Wurttemberg

Husband: King Leopold II of The Belgians

Children: Duchess Louise of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Crownprince Leopold of Belgium, Crownprincess Stephanie of Austria, Princess Clementine Napoleon

Siblings: Archduchess Franziska and Archduke Alexander of Austria, Archduchess Elisabeth of Ausria-Este and Archduke Karl-Ludwig of Austria

Half-siblings: Archduchess Alexandrine, Archduchess Hermine and Archduke Stephen of Austria.

Note that all pictures posted by me are free from copyrights. They were found randomly on various sites.

Marengo 09-01-2007 09:38 AM

In 1853 Marie-Henriette has to marry Crownprince Leopold of the belgians. It is a purely political match as the Belgians saw this marriage as a way to ensure that they won´t be invaded by Napoleon III. The marriage would become extremely unhappy, especially because Leopold II was a cruel man. The Queen however doesn´t say much about it but when the King spends more and more time the Queen retreats to Spa, where she dies in 1902.

Marengo 09-01-2007 09:38 AM

This is what Queen Victoria wrote of her in 1858 (5 years after she had married Leopold):

"[She] looking very pretty and is I think very sensible about herself and the child - but she is becoming very reserved and though I think there is no real love or affection between them - she never allows a word to be said against Leopold who in revanche is much kinder to her than he was and always praises her now."

After the death of her son, Queen Victoria described her as having 'wonderful strength of mind and great faith' ...She must have had to put up with being married to Leopold!!

Marengo 09-01-2007 09:39 AM

Here a Winterhaller portrait of Queen Marie-Henriette, or Queen Maria-Hendrika as the Flemish tend to call her. Does anybody know where the painitng is now?

Marengo 09-01-2007 09:44 AM

Her only son, Leopold, dies at the age of 9. He fell in a pond in the gardens of Laeken Castle and died of the amnesia that followed. After this she has to return to the bed of the King. Their short-lived reconsiliation results in another daughter: Clementine. After this the King didn´t hide his contempt for his wife while Marie-Henriette grew more and more cold and distant.

A picture of Marie-Henriette and her son:

I am not aware how the relations with her daughter were but I reacall that her eldest daughter Princess Louise didn´t have many nice things to say.

Marengo 09-01-2007 09:47 AM

Though Marie-Henriette preferred the company of horses and dogs, she did care for others. So was she sent to Miramar, to bring Carlota back to Belgium. She was very kind and took responsibility for her. and spent as much time with her as posible. After Carlota ws restored to health Marie Henriette, wrote a friend and said "You cannot imagine how beautiful she is now, never so beautiful before". She was as kind as her husband was brutal. She must have had a sad life with him.

Marie-Henriette and Carlota on a churchwindow:

Marengo 09-01-2007 09:54 AM

Some more pictures:

Marengo 09-01-2007 09:56 AM

A few paintings:

Marengo 09-01-2007 09:57 AM

A few more:

Marengo 09-01-2007 10:01 AM

More pictures of Marie-Henriette:

Marengo 09-01-2007 10:04 AM

Her father, Archduke Joseph:

Marengo 09-01-2007 10:05 AM

Her mother, Duchess Maria-Dorothea of Wurttemberg:

Marengo 09-01-2007 10:07 AM

A sketch: ..................................Maria-Hendrika leaving a parc, Brussels

Marengo 09-01-2007 10:11 AM

Mia Kerckevoorde wrote this book about Queen Marie-Henriette. The biography is available in Dutch and French.

ChantalC 09-04-2007 08:09 PM

Hello to all,

Is there any books about Queen Marie-Henriette of the Belgians in English?

Chantal Clement:heart:

ChantalC 09-16-2007 02:40 AM


I don't mean to be rude to say this but I made a post above which I asked if there is a book about Queen Maire-Henriette of the Belgians in English? She sounds interesting. It seems that no one answer my question. Hope someone will answer my question.:smile:

Chantal Clement. ;)

elisabetteke 09-16-2007 05:59 AM

hey Chantal Clement,

I did some searching on google and I did not find any books about her. But maybe there are books about her but I never heard about it.


Marengo 09-17-2007 06:30 AM

I can't recall an english book about Marie-Henriette either. there is the one of Mia kerckehove but that is only available in French and Dutch. The next best thing would probably be to read 'The Coburgs of Belgium' by Theo Aronson. It is an overview of the Belgian monarchy, but with a lot of focus on leopold II and his wife & daughters. You can find a JSTOR review of the book here.

ChantalC 09-21-2007 03:11 AM

Hi Marengo and Elisabetteke

Thank you for your help..:smile: I wish there is a book about Queen Marie-Henriette in English. Although, I don't read French or Dutch. You both tried your best to find it in English. ;) Hope it will be in English one day!:flowers:


gogm 12-28-2007 12:11 AM

Pics of Marie-Henriette
Here is a link to one that may have more detail... .

gogm 12-28-2007 12:14 AM

One More
This is a wonderful array of portraits! Thank you Marengo!:flowers: .

gogm 03-18-2009 08:33 PM


Originally Posted by Marengo (Post 660710)
Here a Winterhaller portrait of Queen Marie-Henriette, or Queen Maria-Hendrika as the Flemish tend to call her. Does anybody know where the painitng is now?

It is with the Belgian Royal Collection.

grandlordbenji16 08-23-2009 03:03 AM

poor woman such a beauty i feel bad for her.Her life could have been better if she had not marry that cruel king. I wonder why she never ask for an annulment from the vatican to free herself from her husband , i know she would be discriminate but at least she could have a happy life instead of living with a husband who openly have have mistress in the palace, dislike by most of his subject and somehow have no empathy for her .i must say she has one of the saddest life as a royalty
queen marie of romania ounce wrote the the difficulty is that we princes have to marry foreign princes
and i bet queen marie henriette had her difficulties

Equus Villa 01-26-2011 01:48 PM

A Sidesaddle Photo

Just thought I would add this one to the collection.


Marengo 01-26-2011 07:41 PM

Thanks for that picture! Queen Marie Henriette was terribly fond of horses, a passion that started during her childhood in Hungary. One of her daughters claimed she liked her horses more than her children.

Equus Villa 01-28-2011 04:24 PM

You are welcome. I am a huge sidesaddle the only pictures I have of Royalty are equestrian related and usually found in either antique stores or e-bay.

ETA - I am really surprised that from all I have read about how she prefered the company of her animals over other people - that more photos were not taken of her with her beloved pets.

c5aload 10-14-2011 01:00 PM

Confessor priest
Is there any information on who her priest was? I am trying to find out if a Father Ephraim was her priest confessor. He is a relative of the Facon line of my family. Family lore says that one of the Facons became a Jesuit priest and was the father confessor of either Queen Marie-Henreitte or Queen Asrtid.

CyrilVladisla 03-29-2014 09:49 PM

Queen Marie-Henriette's beauty gained for her the sobriquet of "The Rose of Brabant".


CyrilVladisla 09-16-2018 10:40 PM

Queen Marie Henriette attended the horse show in Spa on August 24, 1902.

theroyalfly 08-23-2019 02:09 AM

Today in Royal History is the 183rd birthday of Queen Marie Henriette of the Belgians born Archduchess Marie Henriette Anne of Austria. She is the wife of King Leopold II of the Belgians and had 4 children with him.

Her daughter Princess Stéphanie who was once a Crown Princess of Austria died same day as her birthday on 23 August 1945.

maria-olivia 08-23-2019 10:39 AM

Their only Son died when he was 10 years old .

An Ard Ri 08-24-2019 08:01 AM

Marie Henriette of Austria I believe is the longest serving Belgian queen consort just under 37 years from 10th December 1865 to the 19th of September 1902.

Queen Fabiola served as queen Consort for just under 33 years.

maria-olivia 08-24-2019 08:29 AM

The less populaire Queen , she was more in Spa with her horses and the King Leopold Ii was in Paris , generous with his mistresses or in Ostend and la côte d' Azur.
The first happy royal family are Albert I and Elisabeth because he was as King Albert Ii unexpected Kings.

An Ard Ri 08-24-2019 08:45 AM

The Silver wedding of King Leopold II of Belgium and Queen Marie-Henriette , was celebrated with a Mass at the Cathedral Saint-Michel and Gudule on August 22, 1878.

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