Leopold I of Belgium


Leopold I of Belgium

Infobox Belgian Royalty
name =Leopold I
title =King of the Belgians


caption =
reign =21 July, 1831 – 10 December, 1865
(age|1831|7|21|1865|12|10 years)
caption =Leopold Saksen-Koburg as a Russian general
successor =Leopold II
spouse =Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales
Louise-Marie of France
issue =Louis-Philippe, Crown Prince of Belgium
Leopold II
Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders
Charlotte, Empress of Mexico
royal house =House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
royal anthem =
father =Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
mother =Countess Augusta Reuss
date of birth =birth date|1790|12|16|df=y
place of birth =Coburg, Bavaria
date of death =death date and age|1865|12|10|1790|12|16|df=y
place of death =Laeken/Laken, Belgium
buried =|

Leopold I ("Leopold George Christian Frederick" (in German "Leopold Georg Christian Friedrich") "Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld", later "Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha", "Duke of Saxony") (16 December, 1790 – 10 December, 1865) was from 21 July, 1831 the first King of the Belgians. He was the founder of the Belgian line of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. His children included Leopold II of Belgium and Empress Carlota of Mexico.

He was born in Coburg and died in Laeken.

Early life

He was the youngest son of Franz Frederick Anton, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Countess Augusta Reuss-Ebersdorf, and later became a prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha after the territorial swap by his father of Ehrenburg Castle in the Bavarian town of Coburg. He was also an uncle of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

In 1795, as a mere child, Leopold was appointed colonel of the Izmaylovsky Imperial Regiment in Russia. Seven years later he became a major general. When Napoleonic troops occupied the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg in 1806 Leopold went to Paris. Napoléon offered him the position of adjutant, but he refused. Instead he took up a military career in the Imperial Russian cavalry. He campaigned against Napoléon, and distinguished himself at the Battle of Kulm at the head of his cuirassier division. In 1815, Leopold reached the rank of lieutenant general in the Imperial Russian Army.

In Carlton House on 2 May, 1816, he married Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, the only legitimate child of the British Prince Regent (later King George IV of the United Kingdom) and therefore heiress to the British throne, and was created a British field-marshal and Knight of the Garter. On 5 November, 1817, Princess Charlotte was delivered of a stillborn son; she herself died the following day. Had she lived, she would have become Queen of the United Kingdom on the death of her father, and Leopold presumably would have assumed the role later taken by his nephew, Prince Albert, as Prince Consort of Great Britain, and never chosen King of the Belgians. Despite Charlotte's death, the Prince Regent granted Prince Leopold the British style of "Royal Highness" by Order-in-Council on 6 April 1818 [ [http://www.heraldica.org/topics/britain/prince_highness_docs.htm#1816 Royal Styles and Titles – 1818 Order-in-Council] ] . In honor of his first wife, Leopold and Louise-Marie of France, his second wife, named their first daughter Charlotte, who would later become Empress Carlota of Mexico.

On 2 July, 1829, Leopold participated in nuptials of doubtful validity (a private marriage-contract with no religious or public ceremony) with the actress Caroline Bauer, created "Countess of Montgomery", a cousin of his advisor, Christian Friedrich Freiherr von Stockmar. The 'marriage' reportedly ended in 1831 and the following year he married Louise-Marie at the Château de Compiègne, in Compiègne, France, on 9 August, 1832.

King of the Belgians

After Belgium asserted its independence from the Netherlands on 4 October 1830, the Belgian National Congress, considered several candidates and eventually asked Leopold to become king of the newly formed country. He was elected on 4 June and accepted and became "King of the Belgians" on 26 June, 1831. He swore allegiance to the constitution in front of the Saint Jacob's Church at Coudenbergh Place in Brussels on 21 July 1831. This day became the Belgian national holiday. Jules Van Praet would become his personal secretary. Less than two weeks later, on 2 August, the Netherlands invaded Belgium. Skirmishes continued for eight years, but in 1839 the two countries signed the Treaty of London establishing Belgium's independence. With the opening of the railway line between Brussels and Mechelen on 5 May, 1835, one of King Leopold's fondest hopes—to build the first railway in continental Europe—became a reality.

Infobox Monarch styles
royal name=King Leopold I of the Belgians


dipstyle=His Majesty
offstyle=Your Majesty
altstyle=Sire|
In 1840, Leopold arranged the marriage of his niece, Queen Victoria, the daughter of his sister, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, to his nephew, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, son of his brother, Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Even before she succeeded to the throne, Leopold had been advising the then-Princess Victoria by letter, and after her accession, he was one of the great influences on her in the early days of her monarchy.

In 1842, Leopold tried unsuccessfully to pass laws to regulate female and child labor. A wave of revolutions passed over Europe after the deposition of King Louis-Philippe from the French throne in 1848. Belgium remained neutral, mainly because of Leopold's diplomatic efforts.

On 11 October, 1850, Leopold again lost a young wife, as Queen Louise-Marie died of tuberculosis at age 38. At 11:45 am on 10 December 1865, the king died in Laken. He lies buried in the Royal vault at the Church of Our Lady, Laken Cemetery, Brussels, Belgium.

Ancestry

Patrilineal descent

Descent before Conrad the Great is taken from [http://fabpedigree.com/s056/f354285.htm] and may be inaccurate.

House of Wettin
#Burkhard I, Duke of Thuringia, d. 870
#Burchard, Duke of Thuringia, 836 - 908
#(possibly) Burkhard III of Grabfeldgau, 866 - 913
#Dedi I, Count of Hessegau, 896 - 957
#(probably) Dietrich I of Wettin, d. 976
#(possibly) Dedi II, Count of Hessegau, 946 - 1009
#Dietrich II of Wettin, 991 - 1034
#Thimo I of Wettin, d. 1099
#Thimo II the Brave, Count of Wettin, d. 1118
#Conrad, Margrave of Meissen, 1098 - 1157
#Otto II, Margrave of Meissen, 1125 - 1190
#Dietrich I, Margrave of Meissen, 1162 - 1221
#Henry III, Margrave of Meissen, c. 1215 - 1288
#Albert II, Margrave of Meissen, 1240 - 1314
#Frederick I, Margrave of Meissen, 1257 - 1323
#Frederick II, Margrave of Meissen, 1310 - 1349
#Frederick III, Landgrave of Thuringia, 1332 - 1381
#Frederick I, Elector of Saxony, 1370 - 1428
#Frederick II, Elector of Saxony, 1412 - 1464
#Ernest, Elector of Saxony, 1441 - 1486
#John, Elector of Saxony, 1468 - 1532
#John Frederick I, Elector of Saxony, 1503 - 1554
#Johann Wilhelm, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, 1530 - 1573
#John II, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, 1570 - 1605
#Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha, 1601 - 1675
#John Ernest IV, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, 1658 - 1729
#Francis Josias, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, 1697 - 1764
#Ernest Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, 1724 - 1800
#Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, 1750 - 1806

ee also

*Kings of Belgium family tree
* Leopold I of Belgium has left such a legacy behind that he was selected as a motive for a very recent commemorative coin: the 12.50 euro 175th Anniversary of the Belgian Dynasty Coin. The obverse shows his portrait facing left.
* Crown Council of Belgium
* Louis-Joseph Seutin (1793-1862), personal doctor.

ources

External links

* [http://pages.prodigy.net/ptheroff/gotha/belgium.html Royal House of Belgium]
* [http://pages.prodigy.net/ptheroff/gotha/saxony.html Ducal House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha]
* [http://pages.prodigy.net/ptheroff/gotha/greatbritain.html Royal House of Great-Britain]
* [http://pages.prodigy.net/ptheroff/gotha/france.html Royal House of France]


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  • Leopold II — 1. 1747 92, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire 1790 92 (son of Francis I; brother of Joseph II and Marie Antoinette). 2. 1835 1909, king of Belgium 1865 1909 (son of Leopold I of Belgium). * * * I born May 5, 1747, Vienna died March 1, 1792, Vienna …   Universalium

  • Léopold Ier de Belgique — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Léopold Ier. Léopold Ier …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Leopold II — 1. 1747 92, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire 1790 92 (son of Francis I; brother of Joseph II and Marie Antoinette). 2. 1835 1909, king of Belgium 1865 1909 (son of Leopold I of Belgium) …   Useful english dictionary


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