Today in History - February 18th. 1858 - Princess Louise of Belgium

Louise-Marie Amélie was born on February 18th. 1858 at the
Royal Palace in Brussels (Belgium).

Her parents were King Leopold II of Belgium and his wife
Princess Marie Henriette of Austria.

She had a hard and Spartan youth at the Royal Palace, luckily
she liked her sisters very much.

Princess Louise of Belgium - Source picture: Wikipedia

In 1875 Princess Louise married her second cousin Philipp,
Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha-Koháry (an Hungarian branch of the
family Saxe-Coburg and Gotha) in Brussels.

The marriage started badly, Princess Louise even fled after wedding night
to the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken.

This bad start reflected their complete marriage, although they
would have 2 children together.

Philipp was very authoritarian towards Louise and she didn't
like that! As reaction she started a lavish lifestyle at the
Royal Court of Vienna.

Princess Louise of Belgium caused a huge scandal in the
Belgian Royal Family, when she became romanticly involved
with Count Gaza Mattachich, who was a lieutenant in
Croatian regiment of the Austrian Army. They met each other
in the Prater in Vienna.

In 1897 she left her husband and she traveled with her lover
through Europe. The couple visited France (they stayed in
Paris and Cannes) and a lot of other countries.

In 1898 Prince Philipp and Mattachich fought a duel
in Vienna, first with guns and then with swords. There the Prince
became injured. Later Mattachich was arrested in Zagreb, where he
stayed in prison for years.

Princess Louise and her husband - Source picture: Wikipedia

Finally Louise and Philipp divorced on January 15th. 1906.
But her lavish lifestyle caused many debts. After she faked
the signature of her sister Stéphanie, she was institutionized
in 1898. But when Mattachich was released from prison he
helped her to escape.

They moved to Paris where the lovebirds stayed together
till his death in 1923. Then Princess Louise found a home
in Bavaria where she was helped by
Queen Elisabeth (wife of King Albert I of Belgium).

Princess Louise died on March 1st. 1924 in Wiesbaden
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