Today in Royal History is the 117th
Death Anniversary of Queen Marie Henriette of the Belgians, the second Queen Consort of the Belgians. Born Archduchess Marie Henriette Anne of Austria
to Archduke Joseph of Austria, Palatine of Hungary and Duchess Maria Dorothea of Württemberg on 23 August 1836 at Buda Castle, Budapest, Kingdom of Hungary.
One day before her 17th birthday, she married the 18 year old heir to the Belgian throne, Prince Leopold of Belgium, Duke of Brabant who is the second-surviving son of Leopold I of Belgium and his second wife Princess Louise d'Orléans.
Her marriage was seen as beneficial in strengthening the status of the newly established Belgian monarchy. As his father-in-law is a former Protestant monarch, he wished his son and heir marry a royal princess with Roman Catholic upbringing and is from a very prestigious dynasty. This marriage gave them 4 children. In her later years, she was unhappy and discontented. After their son and heir, Prince Léopold, Duke of Brabant died young, the couple made their last attempt to have another son but it resulted to having their third and last daughter Princess Clémentine of Belgium, thus, it led to separation.
The Queen retreated to Spa and had her youngest daughter replace her as the first lady at the Court in Brussels.
She died at the Hôtel du Midi in Spa.