Thursday, September 10, 2009


At the request of our loyal reader Jorge, I will be posting a series on the Belgian royals' Luxembourg cousins, the children of Grand Duke Jean and Princess Josephine-Charlotte. Their eldest is HIRH Marie Astrid Liliane Charlotte Léopoldine Wilhelmine Ingeborg Antoinette Élisabeth Anne Alberte, Archduchess of Austria. She was born February 17, 1954, exactly 20 years after the strange and tragic death of her great-grandfather, Albert I, King of the Belgians. It seems somehow consoling, to have a joyful anniversary to offset the sorrowful one on the same day.

I also find it very touching that Josephine-Charlotte gave her daughter the names of both her mother, Queen Astrid, and her step-mother, Princess Lilian. These two women, tragic in their different ways, were so often pitted against one another in political propaganda, but Josephine-Charlotte had loved both. Of course, it is traditional to call children after multiple members of the family, but here, the combination of names might have a special significance...

During her youth, rumors circulated of an impending marriage between the lovely Marie-Astrid and Charles, Prince of Wales. Religious differences, however, would have made such a match impossible. Catholics marrying non-Catholics are required to raise their children in the Catholic faith, but obviously Marie-Astrid would not have been allowed to do so, as the future heirs to the British monarchy would have to be Anglican. Instead, after training as a nurse, Marie-Astrid married Archduke Carl Christian of Austria, in 1982. The couple have been blessed with five children and lead a generally quiet, family life, appearing from time to time at official functions.

1 comment:

Jorge said...

Thank you, Matterhorn. Archduchess Marie-Astrid is a very exemplary princess. In general, the Nassau family are all very discreet people, and also very religious.