Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Noble Louise-Marie

Shortly after his marriage in 1832, King Leopold I of the Belgians wrote to his niece, the future Queen Victoria of England, describing his bride, Louise-Marie of Orléans, in touching terms:
You told me you would like a portrait of your new aunt; I will paint her morally and physically. She is extremely gracious and amiable. Her actions are always directed by her principles. She is ready, at every moment, to sacrifice her ease and her preferences to see others happy. She appreciates goodness, merit and virtue more than beauty, riches and amusement. In addition, she is very well educated and very intelligent; she speaks and writes English, German and Italian; she expresses herself very well in English. In short, dearest, you see I could hold her up as an example to all young girls, princesses or otherwise.

(quoted in French by Patrick Weber in Amours royales et princières, 2006, p. 19)

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