Elisabeth of Bavaria (1876-1965)

Elisabeth of Bavaria (1876-1965)

:"For the daughter of Philippe and Mathilde, see Princess Elisabeth of Belgium:"For the Empress Elisabeth of Austria, born Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria, see Elisabeth of Bavaria:"For other people called Elisabeth von Wittelsbach, see Elisabeth von Wittelsbach (disambiguation)

Infobox Belgian Royalty|majesty|consort
name =Elisabeth of Bavaria
full name =Elisabeth Gabriele Valérie Marie
title =Queen consort of the Belgians

caption =Portrait of Elisabeth
reign =17 December, 190917 February, 1934
spouse =Albert I
issue =Léopold III
Prince Charles
Marie-José, Queen of Italy
royal house =House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
House of Wittelsbach
othertitles ="HM" Queen Elisabeth
"HM" The Queen of the Belgians
"HRH" The Countess of Flanders
"HRH" Princess Elisabeth of Belgium
"HRH" Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria
father =Karl-Theodor, Duke in Bavaria
mother =Maria Josepha of Portugal
date of birth =birth date|1876|7|25|mf=y
place of birth =flagicon|Bavaria|striped Possenhofen Castle, Bavaria
date of death =death date and age|1965|11|23|1876|7|25|mf=y
place of death =flagicon|Belgium Brussels|

Elisabeth in Bavaria (born "Elisabeth Gabriele Valérie Marie, Duchess in Bavaria") (25 July, 187623 November, 1965), was the queen consort of Albert I of Belgium and was the mother of Leopold III of Belgium.


Born in Possenhofen Castle, her father was Karl-Theodor, Duke in Bavaria, an ophthalmologist of recognized reputation. She was named in honor of her father's sister, Empress Elisabeth of Austria, better known as Sissi. Her mother was Maria Josepha of Portugal, daughter of exiled Miguel I of Portugal.
Through her mother's sisters, Elisabeth was related to many royal families :
*her aunt, Maria Ana of Portugal, was married to William IV, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
*her aunt, Maria Teresa of Portugal, was the third wife of Archduke Charles Louis of Austria and stepgrandmother of Charles I of Austria,
*her aunt, Maria Antonia of Portugal, was the second wife of Robert I, Duke of Parma and mother of Zita of Bourbon-Parma, wife of Charles I of Austria.

An artist himself, Duke Karl-Theodor cultivated the artistic tastes of his family and Elisabeth was raised with a deep love for painting, music and sculpture. At her father's clinic, Elisabeth learned to cope with human suffering.

Married life

At the time that Albert and Elisabeth met, Prince Albert was the heir to his uncle Leopold II of the Belgians. Albert was the second son of Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders and Princess Marie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, a sister of King Carol I of Romania.
At birth, Albert occupied the third place in the line of succession behind his father and elder brother, Prince Baudouin. The unexpected death of Baudouin in January 1891 immediately raised Albert to prominence within his country. A studious, quiet man, Albert was not the choice of heir that King Leopold II would have relished. As the only male member of his generation, Albert was guaranteed the crown of the Belgians upon the king's death. Albert had two sisters who survived into adulthood, Princess Henriette who married Prince Emmanuel of Orléans, and Princess Josephine who married her cousin, Prince Karl-Anton of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, brother of King Ferdinand I of Romania.

In Munich on 2 October 1900, she married Prince Albert, second-in-line to the throne of Belgium (after his father Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders). Upon her husband's accession to the Belgian throne in 1909, Elizabeth became Queen. During the First World War, she and the King resided in De Panne. The Queen made herself beloved by visiting the frontlines and by sponsoring a nursing unit. Despite her German background, she was a popular queen and she eagerly supported her adoptive country. In 1934, Albert I died in a climbing accident at Marche-les-Dames, in the Ardennes region of Belgium, near Namur.

Later years

In her later years, she became a patron of the arts and was known for her friendship with notable scientists like Albert Einstein. During the German occupation of Belgium from 1940 to 1944, she used her German connections and influence to assist in the rescue of hundreds of Jewish children from deportation by the Nazis. After the war she was awarded the title Righteous Among the Nations by the Israeli government. During the 1950s, the Queen aggravated the Americans by visiting Russia, China and Poland, trips that led her to being known as the "Red Queen."

Queen Elisabeth died in Brussels at the age of 89 on November 23, 1965. She is interred in the Royal vault at the Church of Our Lady, Laeken Cemetery, Brussels.


* Léopold Philippe Charles Albert Meinrad Hubertus Marie Miguel, Duke of Brabant, Prince of Belgium, who became later the fourth king of the Belgians (as Leopold III), born November 3, 1901, and died at Woluwe-Saint-Lambert on September 25, 1983.

* Charles-Théodore Henri Antoine Meinrad, Count of Flanders, Prince of Belgium, Regent of Belgium, born Brussels October 10, 1903, and died at Ostend on June 1, 1983.

*Marie-José Charlotte Sophie Amélie Henriette Gabrielle, Princess of Belgium, born Ostend August 4, 1906. She was married at Rome, Italy, on January 8, 1930 to Prince Umberto Nicola Tomasso Giovanni Maria, Prince of Piedmont, born on September 15, 1904, and died on March 18, 1983, at Geneva, Switzerland. He became King Umberto II of Italy on May 9, 1946. Marie-José died January 27, 2001.


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1= 1. Duchess Marie Gabrielle
2= 2. Duke Karl-Theodor in Bavaria
3= 3. Infanta Maria José of Portugal
4= 4. Maximilian Joseph, Duke in Bavaria
5= 5. Princess Ludovika of Bavaria
6= 6. Miguel of Portugal
7= 7. Princess Adelaide of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg
8= 8. Pius August, Duke in Bavaria
9= 9. Princess Amélie Louise of Arenberg
10= 10. King Maximilian I of Bavaria
11= 11. Princess Karoline of Baden
12= 12. King João VI of Portugal
13= 13. Infanta Carlota Joaquina of Spain
14= 14. Constantine, Hereditary Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg
15= 15. Princess Marie Agnes Henriette of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
16= 16. Wilhelm, Duke in Bavaria
17= 17. Pfalzgräfin Maria Anna of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld
18= 18. Louis-Marie, Duke of Arenberg
19= 19. Marie Adélaïde Julie de Mailly
20= 20. Pfalzgräf Friedrich Michael of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld
21= 21. Pfalzgräfin Maria Franziska of Sulzbach
22= 22. Karl Ludwig, Hereditary Prince of Baden
23= 23. Landgravine Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt
24= 24. King Pedro III of Portugal
25= 25. Queen Maria I of Portugal
26= 26. King Carlos IV of Spain
27= 27. Princess Maria Luisa of Parma
28= 28. Karl V, Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg
29= 29. Countess Sophie Luise of Windisch-Graetz
30= 30. Karl Ludwig III, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
31= 31. Countess Amalie Henriette Charlotte of Solms-Baruth

ee also

*Queen Elisabeth Music Competition
*Queen Elisabeth Medical Foundation

-s-ttl|title=Queen consort of the Belgians

External links

* [http://pages.prodigy.net/ptheroff/gotha/bavaria.html Royal House of Bavaria]
* [http://pages.prodigy.net/ptheroff/gotha/belgium.html Royal House of Belgium]

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