The Weekend Special-The Royal Family of Belgium-King Leopold 3

On November 3rd. 1901, Leopold was born in Brussels.

King

After the death of his father, King Albert I, he became King.
His inauguration was on February 23rd. 1934.

Portraits Art Royal Palace Brussels Belgium

Own picture - taken from paintings of Queen Astrid and King Leopold III in 
the Royal Palace of Brussels.


Marriage

King Leopold III married Princess Astrid of Sweden in 2 ceremonies.
One ceremony was in Stockholm (the civil), the other was in Brussels (religious).

Queen Astrid was very popular. 
In my grandparents's house there were portraits of King Leopold III 
and Queen Astrid .

Queen Astrid died in August 29th. 1935 in Küssnacht (Switzerland).

Travel Küssnacht Switzerland Astrid Chapel
Küssnacht Switzerland



Travel Küssnacht Switzerland Astrid Chapel
Küssnacht Switzerland

In 2010, I visited Küssnacht (Switzerland). I could take some pictures of 
the place where Queen Astrid died. 
Now there is a chapel as memory of her death.


Children

King Leopold III and Queen Astrid had 3 children:

Joséphine-Charlotte, later Grand-Duchess of Luxembourg
Baudouin, later King of Belgium
Albert, current King of Belgium

World War II

At the outbreak of World War II, King Leopold stayed in Brussels while
Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands moved to London and reigned from there.

2nd Marriage

On September 11th. 1941, during his captivity by Hitler, King Leopold III
secretly married Lilian Baels.
This was only a religious ceremony which was not valid under the Belgian law.

In Belgium there must be a civil wedding first and then a religious 
(if you want to marry
in the church). 

In June 1942, their first child (Alexander) was born!

It would have been unacceptable for a King of the Belgians to have maintained
an unofficial relationship with Lilian. So, on December 7th. 1942,
their marriage was announced.
But Leopold's new marriage ruined his reputation further.
King Leopold III had two other children with Lilian Baels.

Deportation

In 1944, King Leopold III and his family were deported to Germany
(first in Saxony and later in Austria).

In 1945, the Royal Family was freed by members of the United States
106th. Cavalry Group.

Because of the controversy about The Royal Family,
King Leopold III and his family could not return to Belgium.
They moved to Geneva (Switzerland).

Prince Karel (Charles), King Leopold's younger brother,  became regent
of Belgium.

Referendum

In 1950 there was a referendum about the future of King Leopold III.
King Leopold III decided to withdraw in favour of his son Baudouin
He abdicate in 1951 ...

Death

King Leopold III died on September 25th. 1983.
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