On This Day: Belgian Royal Family

If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Serene Highness
May 20, 2019
September 19


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.
On this day, November 23, 1965 ~ Demise of Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians in Brussels, Belgium
On this day, November 23, 1965 ~ Demise of Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians in Brussels, Belgium

Some silent footage from the Funeral Of Queen Elisabeth Of The Belgians in December 1965 ,what strikes me is how the Belgian were quite good at the royal pomp but sadly that has been done away with.

The queens coffin bore no standard just a crucifix.

On this day, December 10, 1865 ~ Demise of King Leopold I of the Belgians

On this day, December 16, 1790 ~ Birth of King Leopold I of the Belgians
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On this day, December 15 1960, wedding of His Majesty Baudouin, King of the Belgians to Fabiola Mora y Aragon.
On this day, January 8, 1930 ~ The wedding of Princess Marie Jose of Belgium and King Umberto I of Italy

On this day, January 23, 1891 ~ Demise of Prince Baudouin, the son of Philippe, Count of Flanders

On this day, March 24, 1837 ~ Birth of Philippe, Count of Flanders

On this day, April 3, 1812 ~ Birth of Louise-Marie of Orleans, Queen Consort of King Leopold I of Belgium
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On this day, April 3, 1812 ~ Birth of Louise-Marie of Orleans, Queen Consort of King Leopold I of Belgium

Louise-Marie Thérèse Charlotte Isabelle d'Orléans was also the 1st Belgian Queen Consort.The future queen was born in Palermo at the Palais d'Orléans where the Orléans family lived in exile.
On this day, April 8, 1875 ~ Birth of Albert I, King of the Belgians

On this day, April 9, 1835 ~ Birth of Leopold II, King of Belgium
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On this day the 3rd of May 1294 -Death of Jean Ier, Duc de Brabant, Lothier and Limburg .

Jean was also known as the Victorious ,he was born in Leuven in 1253 and died in Bar-le-Duc .He had reigned as Duke since 1267.

He married twice

Marguerite de France and following her death in 1272 he married Marguerite de Dampierre

Following his death his remains were buried at in the choir of the Minderbroederskerk in Brussels but the tomb was destroyed by the Calvinists in 1566.

July 16, 1951- Leopold III abdicates the throne in favor of his eldest son.

Leopold, the son of Albert I and Elizabeth, Duchess in Bavaria, had come to the throne February 17, 1934.

Following the end of WWII there had been great dissent over his return to Belgium. His actions during the war were seen by some as treason. A regency had been created in 1944 under his brother Prince Charles. While he was found innocent of treason and allowed to return, he faced a massive general strike in 1950 and August 1 decided to abdicate in favor of his eldest son. Leopold and his second wife Lillian would serve as advisors to his son until he married.

The nearly 21 year old Baudouin was the son of Leopold by his first wife Princess Astrid of Sweden. In 1960 he would marry Doña Fabiola de Mora y Aragón. Sadly though there was five pregnancies, they all ended in miscarriage.

He would reign for 42 years before dying of heart failure in 1993. He was succeeded by his brother Albert as Albert II. Albert and his wife Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria would abdicate themselves in 2013.

Leopold died ten years before his son in 1983 and was buried next to Astrid. His second wife Lilian 2002 and was buried with him. Of his six children, 3 with each wife, 3 have passed away. Baudouin in 1993, Josephine-Charlotte in 2005 and Alexander in 2009.

His temporary successor in 1944, his brother Charles died the same year as he did, June 1, 1983 only months before Leopold.
On this day, April 4, 1906 ~ Birth of Princess Marie-Jose of Belgium. She became Queen Marie-Jose of Italy, the wife of King Umberto II of Italy.
On this day, August 22, 1853 ~ The wedding of King Leopold III of Belgium and Archduchess Marie Henriette of Austria
On this day, August 22, 1853 ~ The wedding of King Leopold III of Belgium and Archduchess Marie Henriette of Austria

Tiny correction, but Leopold II not III.

Leopold II and Marie Henriette had four children. Unfortunately their only son Leopold died before his 10th birthday. When Leopold II died in 1909 he was succeeded by his nephew Albert I. Albert was the son of Leopold's younger brother Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders. Philippe had died 4 years before his brother, so his claim had passed to his son. Albert was the father of Leopold III.

The couple did have three daughters who married and had children. And they do have descendants. Jean-Christophe Napoleon is a descendent of their youngest daughter Clementine (among others).
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August 29, 1935 death of Queen Astrid of Belgium, first wife of Leopold III.

Astrid was born in Stockholm. Her father Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland was the third son of Oscar II of Sweden. Her mother Ingeborg was a daughter of Frederick VIII of Denmark. Her Uncles included Christian X of Denmark, Haakon VII of Norway and Gustaf V of Sweden. Her sister Martha married the future King Harald V of Norway. Her sister Margaretha made a love match marriage to Prince Axel of Denmark. Her only brother Carl lost his dynastic rights due to his morganatic marriage.

Astrid was married to Leopold (at the time Duke of Brabant) November 1926 with the civil in Stockholm and the religious in Brussels . Among her gifts was a tiara from the people of Stockholm.


Astrid was loved by the people of her new country (and her old). Her devotion to helping the poor and disadvantaged, with a lot of interest in women and children, won her many fans. Her husband was one of the biggest, their marriage truly one of love. They were known to show PDA like holding hands at public events (not common like today's royals).

Astrid sadly died at 29 (30th birthday was in November). Her and her husband had been on holiday in Switzerland with their two oldest children. Her youngest Albert was left at home as he was only a year old at the time. The king and queen were in a car accident when they were on their way for a final hike on their vacation. Both were thrown from the car but the queen slammed into a tree and died before help came, in her husband's arms.

Her death was mourned greatly both in Belgium and by Sweden as well. She was buried at the Church of our Lady of Laeken where her husband was later buried (and his second wife). A chapel was built at the site of her death.


She was the mother of three, her oldest Josephine-Charlotte was only eight at the time of her mother's death. Baudouin was 5 and Albert one. In 2020 she currently has 1 living child (Albert II, JC died in 2005 and Baudouin died in 1993), 9 grandchildren (5 from JC and 4 from Albert), 36 great grandchildren (22 from JC and 14 from Albert) and 19 great-great grandchildren (17 from JC and 2 from Albert).

She is the grandmother of GD Henri of Luxembourg and King Philippe of Belgium. And Aunt of Harald of Norway.
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Small correction, Astrid has 9 grandchildren; 4 from Albert. The youngest of whom resembles her greatly. :flowers: (And thus 36 great-grandchildren, 14 from Albert.)
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Small correction, Astrid has 9 grandchildren; 4 from Albert. The youngest of whom resembles her greatly. :flowers: (And thus 36 great-grandchildren, 14 from Albert.)

It depends on whether one is counting the number of legal grandchildren and great-grandchildren or biological grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Delphine qualifies for the second category but (for the moment) not the first.

It is typically trickier to count the number of biological descendants as in theory it is difficult to rule out that a legal grandchild or great-grandchild may not be the biological child of their legal parent due to for instance fertility treatment, an extramarital affair, etc.
Can we split the difference and say "recognized descendant"? Delphine has fought for twenty years just to get that far.
Can we split the difference and say "recognized descendant"? Delphine has fought for twenty years just to get that far.

Yes, I see what you mean. Still, in my opinion the original post was not "incorrect" in the context of Queen Astrid's biography. Even if Queen Astrid had lived into old age, it is sadly unlikely that she would have recognized Delphine as her grandchild in any public manner.
Yes, I see what you mean. Still, in my opinion the original post was not "incorrect" in the context of Queen Astrid's biography. Even if Queen Astrid had lived into old age, it is sadly unlikely that she would have recognized Delphine as her grandchild in any public manner.

Well, we don't know... there are changing social mores and the fact that Astrid was famed as an immensely kind person who loved children. There's also the chance if she had lived and been able to mother her son, Albert would not have been someone with such an unstable marriage or an illegitimate child whom he then ignored. She may not have had a 9th grandchild. ? Too many variables, and Astrid is the butterfly. :seestars: But I'll take further thoughts to her thread or Delphine's.
I added Delphine and her children to my count.

I don't think I consciously left her out or not. I share the doubt Astrid would have recognized her in public at least if she had lived, but pure speculation. But since she has been acknowledged as Albert's I will add her to the count.

Whether Albert would have been a better father, or husband for that matter if his mother lived is up for debate. His brother didnt have his mother much longer then Albert did, and he was a very different man then Albert was.

And I caught my own mistake, I missed a great great grandchild. I forgot Amedeo and his wife welcomed a son last fall so Albert has 2 great-grandchildren not one. I added him as well.
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On this day, September 19, 1902 ~ Demise of Queen Marie Henriette of Belgium, wife of King Leopold II
September 27, 1275 the birth of John II, Duke of Brabant. He was known as the peaceful.

He was the son of John the Victorious, Duke of Brabant who was venerated as a folk hero, the perfect example of a chivalric prince. His mother was Margaret of Flanders, daughter of Guy of Dampierre, Count of Flanders. John was the second of four children. His elder brother Godfrey died though in 1283 at 9. His sister Margaret married Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor with whom she had three children including Marie of France (wife of Charles IV). His sister Maria married Amadeus V, Count of Savoy as his second wife and bore him 4 daughters.

John succeeded his father as Duke in 1294. He worked to help support a fight against French expansion.

In 1309 the Crusade of the Poor came into the borders of Brabant. It was a group of poor men who had assembled a militia of sorts from France, England, Germany and Brabant. Along their way to join the Papal army they started looting, getting into conflict with local authorities and persecuting Jews. Over 100 Jews had been massacred by the 'brothers of the cross' when they had tried to seek refuge in the castle of Born in Guelders.

The Jews of Leuven and Tienan sought sanctuary after the massacre in Guelders. They sought refuge in the castle of Genappe. John sent his troops to Genappe to drive the crusaders away from the castle, to protect the Jews who he believed he owed protection to in his lands. The crusaders suffered heavy casualties at the hands of John's troops.

In 1312 John signed the Charter of Kortenberg in an attempt to secure a peaceful transition to his son. A charter of rights like the Magna Carta, it was far more democratic, giving rights not simply to the Barons like in England.

He died October 27 of that years in Tervuren. He had been suffering from kidney stones for some time. He was buried at St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral in Brussels.

John had been married in July 1290 at the age of 15 to Margaret of England. Margaret was the daughter of Edward I and Eleanor of Castile. Among her full siblings were Edward II and Joan of Acre. They were married in London at Westminster. Margaret was a few months older then her husband. They attended the wedding of Edward II and Isabella, and later the coronation of the couple. His wife bore him only one child, a son.

-John: would succeed his father as John III. He married Marie d'Évreux with whom he had six children. He was succeeded by his eldest daughter Joanna.

He had at least four known bastards. The House of Glyme was founded by one of these bastards, Jan Cordeken. He was legitimized by emperor Louis IV. They held quite a few positions of power over time.


Margaret out lived her husband by 22 years. She was the last surviving and longest surviving child of her father. She died during the reign of her nephew Edward III.
On this day, October 10, 1903 ~ Birth of Prince Charles of Belgium, Count of Flanders
And possibly the only Prince Regent of Belgium which he served as from 1944-1950 :previous:
On this day, November 3, 1901 ~ Birth of King Leopold III of the Belgians
November 23, 1965 death of Elisabeth of Bavaria, Queen of Belgium.


She was born in Possenhofen Castle in Bavaria. Her father was Karl-Theodor, Duke in Bavaria. Her father was the younger brother of Empress Sissi. He named his daughter after his Imperial sister. Her father as well as being a royal, actually practiced medicine as an ophthalmologist. Her mother was Maria Josepha of Portugal, a daughter of Miguel I. Her mother was her father's second wife. He had originally been married to Sophie of Saxony with whom he had a daughter Duchess Amalia. Elisabeth was the second of five children born to her parents. As well as her half sister Amalia, she had 2 sisters and 2 brothers. Her younger sister married the Crown Prince of Bavaria.

Elisabeth grew up with a deep passion for art and music thanks to her father. But she also learned about the suffering of others. Like her mother, Elisabeth often helped her father out in her clinic and saw the suffering of others.

October 2, 1900 she was married to Prince Albert of Belgium, who was at the time second in line to the throne. He was the grandson of Leopold I of Belgium. His father was Leopold's third son Philip, Count of Flanders (2nd to reach adulthood as his eldest brother died in infancy). At the time of their marriage, his Uncle Leopold II was on the throne (he had inherited it from his father in 1865). Though Leopold II and his wife Marie-Henrietta had four children, their only son Leopold had died in 1869 at age ten. In absence of a son, his heir was Albert's father Philip. Albert was the youngest of his parents five children, but his only brother had died on influenza in 1891. Albert's mother Princess Marie of Hohenzollern-Sigmarion was a sister of King Carol I of Romania.


Her husband became first in line for the throne on the death of his father in 1905. The couple ascended the Belgian throne in 1909 on the death of Leopold II. Elisabeth was far more active as queen then any of the queens before her. She became very involved with charity work and the arts.

During WWI she helped found the Symphony Orchestra of the Field Army. She often brought messages to the British government from her husband under the guise of visiting her children who were at school in the UK. She and her husband stayed in De Panne during the war. She became well known and loved for visiting the front lines during the war, and sponsoring a nursing unit.

She was widowed February 17, 1934 when her husband died in a mountaineering accident. Her husband was succeeded by their eldest son who became Leopold III.

Elisabeth would live to see Leopold abdicate the throne, her younger son serve as regent for a time, and the ascension of her grandson to the throne.

Elisabeth is one of several royal women who was rewarded the honor of 'Righteous Among the Nations' by the state of Israel for her actions in WWII. She had used her position and German connections to prevent hundreds of Jewish children from being deported by the Nazis during the war.

She died at the age of 89 in Belgium from a heart attack. She was buried in the Church of Our lady of Laeken.

She and her husband had three children:

-Leopold: succeeded his father as Leopold III. He was married twice. He married Princess Astrid of Sweden with whom he had three children: King Baudouin, King Albert II and Josephine Charlotte of Luxembourg. His second marriage was to Lilian Baels with whom he had a further three children: Alexandre, Marie-Christine, and Marie-Esmerelda.He abdicated in favor of his eldest son in 1951.

-Charles: Count of Flanders like his grandfather. Served as regent of Belgium from 1944-1950. He had a natural daughter Isabelle and there was some speculation he was married but no evidence. He died several months before Leopold died.

-Marie-Jose: Married Umberto II of Italy. Had three daughters and a son with Umberto. After being exiled from Italy in 1946 her and her husband separated though never divorced, Umberto living in Portugal and her in Switzerland.
One of the longest lived Belgian royals and what a life queen Elisabeth lived.
December 5, 2014 death of Queen Fabiola of Belgium.

Doña Fabiola de Mora y Aragón was born June 11, 1928 in Madrid. She was the daughter of Don Gonzalo de Mora y Fernández y Riera y del Olmo, 4th Marqués de Casa Riera, 2nd Count of Mora. Her maternal grandmother was the 6th Marchioness of Casa Torres. Queen Victoria Eugenie was her godmother.

She was the 5th of 6 children in her family. Her brother Jaime was an actor.

Prior to her marriage she worked as a nurse in Madrid. And even published a book of fairy tales. Her fairy tale 'The Indian Water Lilies' had its own pavilion in the Efteling Theme park in 1966.

December 15, 1960 she was married to King Baudouin of the Belgians. She was 32 and her groom was 30. He had come to the throne 10 years prior. The couple were married for 33 years. Sadly despite 5 pregnancies, the couple had no children.

Sadly her husband died from heart failure in July 1993, while they were in Spain. Her husband was succeeded by his brother Albert II.

Following the death of her husband's grandmother Queen Elisabeth in 1965 she served as honorary president of the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition. And after her husband's death she became president of the King Baudouin Foundation which had been started in 1976 to mark 25 years on the throne. She established the Queen Fabiola Fund for Mental Health.

After her husband's death she retired to Château du Stuyvenberg and reduced her public role as not to over shadow Paola. But she remained a constant in her devotion to her charity work.

Fabiola had been in ill health for some years when she died. She had suffered a long bout of pnemonia in 2009 which she never fully recovered, and suffered from osteoperosis. She died at her home.

Members of every European monarchy but Britain and Monaco attended her funeral. As well the Empress of Japan, Farrah of Iran and Maha Chakri of Thailand were in attendance. The Empress of Japan had a special relationship with Fabiola and her husband as Baudouin had played a key role in helping her and Akihito fall in love. He sent messages between the two of them, and helped negotiate their marriage.

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:previous: I miss Queen Fabiola. She and Baudouin would have celebrated 60 years of happy marriage next week.
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