Sunday, August 30, 2009

Is This True?

While searching for something on Google Books, I came across part of an account of the (then ongoing) Royal Question in a 1946 issue of the Atlantic Monthly. In passing, the authors (rather hostile to the King) claim that after Astrid's death, Leopold became so religious that he even contemplated retiring to a monastery. (It reminds me of the reports that Baudouin, during the early years of his reign, considered becoming a priest). I know Leopold was a man of deep faith, but I have never heard this before. I also do not see how Leopold could realistically have abdicated while his son and heir was a mere child. It would have led to his brother Charles (of questionable loyalties, in my opinion) serving as Regent for years and years. Furthermore, Leopold's children needed their father to remarry to restore the family circle. Surely the King would have seen these difficulties. So I am not sure whether this report is true or false. It is interesting, though, and if anyone has more information, please let me know.

5 comments:

aarondavidson said...

At least this rumour is positive Matterhorn-unlike most of the half truths and fantasies that have been spread about King Leopold.

Matterhorn said...

Good point. At least it counteracts the strange idea so often spread that Leopold was a "lukewarm" Catholic.

MadMonarchist said...

I wish I knew more myself but that's a new one on me as well. It would be no problem for me to believe if it was after his abdication that he thought of retiring to a monastery but it is a little far out for him to consider such a thing while he was still king. As you say though, it does speak well for him and how important spiritual matters were to him.

Matterhorn said...

After his abdication (unless we imagine a scenario where he had not married again) it would have been a problem for him to retire to a monastery too. By then he had a new wife and was raising a second set of children.

MadMonarchist said...

D'oh! Of course, that totally slipped my mind for some reason.