Monday, October 10, 2011

October 10, 1903: The Birth of Prince Charles


Today is the birthday of Prince Charles Theodore Henri Antoine Meinrad, the second son of King Albert I and Queen Elisabeth, and the younger brother of King Leopold III, in whose stead he reigned from 1944-1950. The spare heir was named after his philanthropic maternal grandfather, Duke Karl-Theodor in Bavaria. Unfortunately, however, as I have mentioned before, I find Charles of Belgium to have been a far less admirable character. Nonetheless, the birth of the future Regent deserves to be commemorated.

3 comments:

Jorge said...

I feel pity for Prince Charles, and not in a condescending way. It's clear that he suffered a lot in his life, and many of his problems came from childhood, from feeling less than his brother, maybe even less loved by his parents. It must have been difficult to have two remarkable siblings as Leopold and Marie-José (who also suffered a lot in their lives).
I find such a strange thing that such a happy marriage (for royal standards) as that of King Albert and Queen Elisabeth had three children who led such difficult lives. Leopold faced his beloved wife's early death and the terrible calumnies over his own public and personal conduct, and also his distance with his children by his first marriage. Marie-José faced a very unhappy marriage and lived long enough to witness so many family tragedies (her daughters' divorces, the mysterious death of her son-in-law, her grandson's death, etc). And Charles, the most enigmatic of the siblings, seems such a bittered man, with such a need of being loved. Maybe if Leopold, despite everything, had tried harder to make his brother feel loved by him. I don't know, I have no right to judge either the King's or his family's behavior.

Matterhorn said...

Thank you, Jorge.

Charles rather reminds me of Marie-Christine. Both were middle children. Both had older and younger siblings who seemed much better adjusted to life, in spite of many sufferings. Both seemed to have a contrary streak and to harbor a great deal of resentment, sadness and bitterness. Both publicly turned against their family. Charles seems to have had trouble relating to his father, just as Marie-Christine clashed with her mother. Marie-Christine seems to have been possibly jealous of her sister Esmeralda's close relationship with her father, just as Charles felt left out of the friendship between Leopold and Albert. There are many parallels...

I sometimes wonder if Charles had some kind of social disability, which was perhaps misunderstood, during his youth, as a moral issue, and therefore dealt with harshly. The same might be true for Marie-Christine.

Jorge said...

That's an interesting issue. Those problems were not known in Prince Charles' times, so there was no chance he could have ever been treated by a therapist or someone of the sort.