King Albert I and Queen Elisabeth

A modest, retiring, intellectual, religious man, King Albert I succeeded his uncle, King Leopold II, on December 23, 1909.  He and his wife, born Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria, were already widely admired for their unassuming ways and loving family life. During World War I, the royal couple's popularity would be further enhanced. Albert and Elisabeth earned a heroic reputation at home and abroad for their bravery in defending Belgium, invaded by Germany in August 1914, in violation of international treaties. The King personally led the Belgian army, while his Queen worked tirelessly in humanitarian capacities to bring relief to war victims. After the return of peace, Albert focused on rebuilding his devastated country.  A passionate alpinist, he was tragically killed on February 17, 1934 in an apparent climbing accident. Below are links to some of the articles on this blog discussing Albert and Elisabeth.