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Saturday, July 21, 2012
Here are more relatives of Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians. Above, we see her older half-sister Amalie, who married Prince Wilhelm of Urach, later to be offered the Lithuanian throne as King Mindaugas II. Tragically, Wilhelm took part in the invasion of Belgium as a military officer during World War I. By that time, however, Amalie had already died, at the young age of 47, after giving birth to her ninth child. It was a very distressing chain of events for the tender-hearted Elisabeth, who was close and devoted to her whole family. To make matters worse, Elisabeth also lost a brother in 1912, as well as her younger sister Marie Gabrielle, pictured below. The Queen of the Belgians herself suffered from ill health in the years immediately prior to the war. Perhaps, her struggles and tragedies in this period helped to prepare her for the great trial ahead and to deepen her compassion for so many others who would lose family members in the dark days to come.