06 July 2017

Previously at the Palace: Early Belgian Princesses

In this series, we capture the biographical and major news posts from this date in previous years so that you can "catch up" on your favorites or reflect on some topics you might have missed. One paragraph is included here; click the title to see the full post.

2013: Belgian Highnesses

In honor of the accession of King Philippe in Belgium, I offered a short series about Belgian royal ladies. Although the Belgian monarchy has a short history of less than 200 years, it has had more than its fair share of princesses with less than fairytale lives.

Charlotte by Winterhalter
via Wikimedia Commons
"Princess Charlotte married the witty and attractive Archduke Maximilian, younger brother of Emperor Franz Joseph II of Austria. Although beautiful in her own right, Charlotte suffered by comparison with her sister-in-law Empress Elisabeth. The free-spirited young Empress chafed at the rigidity of the Austrian court, and her husband often indulged her flights of fancy and flights from court. Elisabeth very much enjoyed the company of Charlotte’s husband, whom she considered an ally in the family."  READ MORE

"King Leopold II of Belgium is remembered today for the violent brutality of his personal rule over the Congo. However, his leadership of his family was also tinged with cruelty and coldness. His three daughters grew up in an authoritarian environment defined by the unhappiness of their parents' marriage, the loss of their brother, the strictness of their father, and the rigid education of their mother. "  READ MORE

"Astrid was the granddaughter of both a Swedish king and a Danish king, and the niece of the Norwegian king, but she grew up with little of the splendor one might expect for such a well-connected princess. With the precarious nature of royal thrones in the post-World War I era, her mother raised her children to be prepared in case they ever needed to take care of themselves--and each of the three daughters were even required to cook for the family once a week."  READ MORE

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