Prince Phillipe and Princess Maria of Belgium, Count and Countess of Flanders

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Aug 13, 2004
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Prince Phillipe and Princess Maria of belgium, Count and Countess of Flanders:

This thread is about Prince Phillipe of Belgium, Count of Flanders (Laeken 24 Mar 1837-Brussels 17 Nov 1905) and Princess Maria of Belgium, Countess of Flanders, nee Princess of Hohenzollern (Sigmaringen 17 Nov 1845-Brussels 26 Nov 1912)

Parents Phillipe: King Leopold I of The Belgians and Princess Louise-Marie of France

Parents Maria: Fuerst Karl-Anton of Hohenzollern and Princess Josephine of Baden

Children: Prince Baudouin of Belgium, Duke of Brabant; Princess Henriette of Orleans, Duchess of Vendome; Princess Josephine of Belgium; Princess Josephine of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and King Albert I of The Belgians

Siblings Phillipe: Prince Louis-Phillipe of Belgium, King Leopold II of The Belgians and Empress Charlotte/Carlota of Mexico

Siblings Maria: Fuerst Leopold of Hohenzollern, Queen Stephanie of Portugal, King Carol I of Roumania, Prince Anton and Prince Friedrich of Hohenzollern


Note that all images posted in this thread by me are free of copyrights, unless stated differently. The TRF policy conserning copyrights has not changed
Philippe Eugène Ferdinand Maire Clément Baudouin Léopold Georges, Count of Flanders (24 March 1837-17 November 1905) was the third born (but second surviving) son of King Leopold I of the Belgians and his wife Louise Marie d'Orleans (1812-1850). He was born at the Château de Laeken, near Brussels, Belgium. He was created Count of Flanders on 14 December 1840.

Read the entire wikipedia article here.

Marie Luise Alexandrine Karoline (Sigmaringen, November 17, 1845 - Brussels, November 26, 1912) was a Princess of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, and mother of King Albert I of Belgium. Marie Luise was a daughter of Prince Karl Anton of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, Prime minister of Prussia and Princess Josephine of Baden.

Read the entire wikipedia article here.

In 1862 Phillipe was offered the crown of Greece, which he refused, as he did with the throne of Roumania which was offered to him in 1866. His future brother-in-law, Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen would finally accept the Roumanian throne, taking the name of King Carol I. Though he probably preferred the comforts of Brussels over a n insecure throne in the Balkans another reason for his refusal might be that he had a very bad haring. This was the main reason why his brother Leopold II didn´t think he would be suitable as a successor and thus the son of Philip, Prince Baudouin was considered the heir.

The countess was an accomplished artist. From 1868 she dedicated herself to make etches. During her life several of those were exhibited, for example during the World Exhibition of 1893 in Chicago. But also in the 20th centrury Belgian musuems would pay attention to the work of Princess Maria. Her grandson, prince Charles of Belgium probably inherited his articistical talents rather from her then from the Wittelbachs.

Maria was generally considered the only loving woman at the Belgian court. Her sister-in-law, Queen Marie-Henriette was usually absent and didn´t put much energy in her marriage or her children. She preferred her dogs instead. Her sister-in-law, Empress Carlota of Mexico was insane and spent her days alone at Castle Boechout. Maria also took care of the children of her brother and sister-in-law, King Leopold II and Queen Marie-Henriette, she expecially had a close relationship with Princess Clementine.

Here a website in Dutch about Maria´s sketches. I will post two of the sketches here:
Website 2


The last one was made shortly after the death of her son Baudouin. Towards the end of her life her etches became more somber and dark.
The family lived in ´Regency House´ in Regency street (Regentschapstraat/ Rue de la regence) in Brussels.

Today the house is used as an office for the ´Rekenkamer´ (counting chamber?).

Here you can see a picture of the pretty (former) palace.
Some pictures of Princess Maria with her children:

Two pictures of Princess Maria with her Belgian grandchildren. on the left with her graddaughter princess Marie-Jose, future Queen of Italy and on the left with all 3 children of her son Albert: Prince Leopold, prince Charles and Princess Marie-Jose:

Two more pictures of the Countess of Flanders:

Here the text of an old newspaper article (in Dutch) about the death of HRH The Countess of Flanders.

The Countess of Flanders had very interesting family connections.

Her paternal grandmother Antoinette Murat was the niece of Joachim Murat, husband of Napoleon Bonaparte's sister Caroline.

Her maternal grandmother Stephanie de Beauharnais was related to Napoleon's first wife Josephine de Beauharnais. Her father and Josephine's first husband Alexandre de Beauharnais were first cousins.

One of her great-grandmothers was a first cousin of Louise of Stolberg-Gedern, wife of Charles Edward Stuart the Young Pretender.

She was also a direct descendant of William Cecil, Lord Burghley, Queen Elizabeth's I chief advisor and a confirmed Protestant.
She was never at home.
Her deaf Husband had a famous Library. Most of his books are in now the Royal Palace.
It seems like it's hard to say whether they really had a loving and happy household or only by comparison with the monster on the throne, and objectively things might have been somewhat sad and dour.
Yes in comparaison of the "Monster on the Throne". Their sorrow is loosing their eldest Son qui should be King of the Belgians. It is therefore that King Albert I asked Leopold and Astrid to give to their first born Son the surname of Baudouin. There was such love between the Brothers.
It was very sad Baudouin died and it doesn't seem like Albert ever came to terms with it, but it doesn't mean his parents or his family were particularly happy otherwise.

Just that anything looks good when the king has set the bar so low.

Also, I just noticed that the Countess and Queen Astrid have the same birthday, and the Count died the very day she was born. Now I wonder if anything else happened November 17 for the BRF.
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At least the Countess of Flanders lived to see her son become king but sadly died 3 years later aged 67.
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