Thursday, February 19, 2009

Parents of King Albert I

Prince Philippe of Belgium (1837-1905), the Count of Flanders. He was the younger brother of King Leopold II of Belgium. Although, constitutionally, he was in the line of royal succession, his unfortunate deafness effectively disqualified him from the throne. An avid reader, he had an extensive library. His love of books was inherited, to a large extent, by his son, Albert. 
Princess Marie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (1845-1912), the Countess of Flanders. She was distinguished for her piety and charity; her brother-in-law, Leopold II, used to call her "Our Lady of Flanders." She was also an accomplished artist.

In contrast to the irregular private life of Leopold II, the Count and Countess of Flanders were known for their domestic virtues. Philippe and Marie had four children: Prince Baudouin, a promising youth, who, tragically, died at age 22, Princess Henriette, Princess Josephine, and Prince Albert, who would later, due to his uncle's lack of a direct heir, become Belgium's beloved King Albert I. 


Lucy said...

Love these pictures! I guess the King looks a lot like his dad...but has his mom's eyes.

May said...

A handsome couple, weren't they? Marie-José thought her father took after his mother alot, in character, I mean. But physically he seems to have been a mix of both parents, you're right.

I'm planning a longer post for another day, on Albert's mother's life.