History - On This Day - 10 October 1903 - Prince Charles of Belgium, Count of Flanders

On 10 October 1903, a Belgian Prince was born in Brussels.

Prince Charles of Belgium, Count of Flanders

Prince Charles as a child

Prince Charles of Belgium was the second son of King Albert I of Belgium
and Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria. He had thus a older brother, who became
King Leopold III of Belgium and a sister Marie-José the last Queen of Italy.

Prince Charles as a child

World War I

During World War I the Belgian Royal Children were sent to the
United Kingdom. King Albert I remained in Belgium behind the Yser Front.

In 1915 Prince Charles started the school of Wixenford in Wokingham,

In 1917 he attended the Royal Naval College in Osborne and later in

In 1926 he received the rank of sub-lieutenant in the British Royal Navy.
Later that year he returned to Belgium to attend the Royal Military School
of Brussels.

World War II

During World War II, King Leopold III stayed in Belgium, but his role was
questioned certainly when the King married to Mary Lilian Baels.

Prince Charles was appointed as Regent of Belgium, in 1944 when the
German occupation ended. During his regency important economic and
politic decisions were taken.

The Belgian economy recovered quickly after the second World War, due to
American assistance with the Marshall Plan.

Statue of Prince Charles

Furthermore women obtained the right to vote in parliamentary elections in

During his regency the BENELUX was formed together with the Netherlands
and Luxembourg. Belgium became a member of the United Nations and the
North Atlantic Treaty was signed.

Prince Charles as Regent
In 1950, Charles 's regency ended when Leopold III returned to Belgium and
took up his duties. King Leopold III of Belgium, soon was forced to abdicate
in favor of his son, King Baudouin.

Charles retired from public life and he moved to Ostend
where he lived in a lovely residence in Raversijde.

There he took up his artistic work and he signed his paintings with
Charles of Flanders.

Prince Charles as artist

Love and Marriage?

Prince Charles of Belgium had a natural daughter, Isabelle Wybo who was
born in 1938 as the result with a relationship between the prince and
Jacqueline Wehrili. In 2012 Wybo made an official appearance with
Prince Laurent of Belgium.

It still is a big question if Prince Charles was married to Jacqueline or not.
If it is the case it will be a morganatic marriage.

Prince Charles with then Princess Paola of Belgium
Prince Charles with other big artists
Prince Charles and the artists


Prince Charles of Belgium died on 1 June 1983 in Raversijde. He was buried
at the Church of Our Lady in Laeken in Brussels.

In his will he left the Empress Josephine's diamond tiara to his sister:
Marie Jose.


During the summer of 2017, at the Royal Palace of Brussels, there was an
exhibition dedicated to Prince Charles of Belgium with lots of lovely pictures,
paintings and even statues.

Prince Charles, summer exhibition at the Royal Palace in Brussels

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