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Queen Astrid ~ King Leopold III of Belgium
(born Princess of Sweden) 

The Queen who Died Much Too Young 

 

Denmark
King Christian IX 
Ancestor

Denmark
King Frederik VIII 
(Chr. IX's son) 

Great Britain
Queen Alexandra 
(Chr. IX's daughter) 

Greece
King George I
(Chr. IX's son) 

Russia
Czarina Dagmar
(Chr. IX's daughter) 

Belgium
Queen Astrid 

Norway
King Haakon VII 
(Frederik VIII's son) 

Luxembourg
Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte 

Spain
Queen Sophia
(Princess of Greece) 

Romania
Cr. Princess Helena 
(Princess of Greece) 

Yugoslavia
Princess Olga 
(Princess of Greece) 

Sweden 
Princess Ingrid of Sweden. Queen of Denmark 

Miscellaneous
Useful Links  
About the Author

 

Belgium 2005. Commemorative issue of Queen Astrid, Belgium.

Princess Astrid's mother, the Danish Princess Ingeborg, was the fifth child of the Danish king Frederik VIII. Astrid's mother had in 1897 married the Swedish Prince Carl (a brother to the then Swedish king), by whom she had two daughters, Märtha who would later become Crown Princess of Norway, and Astrid who became Crown Princess, and eventually Queen of Belgium. Through Astrid's sister Märtha the Norwegian royal family is thus closely related to the Belgian royal family. 
  • Belgium 2005. Commemorative stamp in honour of Queen Astrid. 

In 1926 Astrid married Prince Leopold of Belgium, who in 1934 became King Leopold III, and thus became the first member of the Glücksburg Dynasty ever in the Belgian royal family. The young couple's marriage was happy and soon blessed with three children (Josephine-Charlotte *1927, Baudouin *1930, and Albert *1934. 

Belgium 2000. Memorial issue of Queen Astrid.

After three child births the couple went on holiday to Austria in their private car in 1935. In a tragic accident in Küssnacht (Switzerland) the royal vehicle, driven by the king himself, crashed, and the queen was killed instantaneously. She was only 30 years old. Although severely injured, the king survived the accident, and returned to Belgium to resume his duties as both sovereign and single father of three young children, the youngest still a baby.  

Belgium 1998. Memorial issue of King Leopold III.
  • Belgium 2000. Memorial issue of Queen Astrid (1905-1935). In spite of her only eight years as Belgian queen, she was the most popular queen ever during the country's 100 years of monarchy.

  • Belgium 1998. Memorial issue of King Leopold III (1901-1983). 

Belgium 1935.Mourning issue for Queen Astrid.

Belgium 1935.  Prince Baudouin, Princess Josephine-Charlotte, Prince Albert.

Belgium 1936. Prince Baudouin.

Belgium 1937. Queen Astrid with Princess Josephine-Charlotte.

  • Belgium 1935. Mourning issue for Queen Astrid. The stamp exists in four face values and different background colours. They all have the black mourning border. 

  • Belgium 1935. Three motherless siblings. The stamp is a semi-postal for the benefit of Belgian Red Cross. It is part of a set of several stamps of different colours and face values. 

  • Belgium 1936. Prince Baudouin.

  • Belgium 1937. Queen Astrid with her daughter, Princess Josephine-Charlotte, who would later become Grand-Duchess of Luxembourg. Also this stamp is part of a set of several stamps of different face values and colours. 

In 1951 King Leopold, who never overcame his wife's death caused by himself, abdicated in favour of his eldest son, Prince Baudouin, who became King of Belgium at the age of only 21. In September 1941 King Leopold had married Mary-Lilian Baeis (1916-2002). 

King Baudouin married in 1960 Dona Fabiola, born 1930 countess of Mora y Aragon (Spain). Much to their regret the couple remained childless, and at King Baudouin's death in 1993 the Belgian Throne was assumed by his younger brother Albert, who was now King Albert II of Belgium. Through his mother, Queen Astrid, King Baudouin was a member of the Glücksburg Dynasty. 

Belgium 1998. Commemorative issue of King Baudouin I.

Belgium 2000. Commemorative issue of Queen Fabiola, Belgium.

  • Belgium 1998. Commemorative issue of King Baudouin I. 

  • Belgium 2000. Idem, Queen Fabiola. 

King Albert II is married to Queen Paola, born Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria of Italy, whom he married in 1959. Queen Paola was featured on a stamp from her native Italy in 1997. 

Italy 1997. Paola Ruffo di Calabria, Regina dei Belgi. Belgium 1995. King Albert II of Belgium. Belgium 1995. King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium.
  • Italy 1997. Paola Ruffo di Calabria, Regina dei Belgi. 
  • Belgium 1995. King Albert II of Belgium, sovereign since 1993. 
  • Belgium 1995. King Albert II and Queen Paola at a royal celebration. 

Realizing that King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola much to their regret would remain childless, their son, Prince Philippe, was brought up to be Crown Prince and eventually king of Belgium. Crown Prince Philippe married in February 2000 the Belgian civil citizen, Miss Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz. The couple has been blessed with two children, a girl Princess Elisabeth (2001), and a boy Prince Gabriel (2003). 

Belgium 2000. Souvenir sheet. Royal Wedding in Belgium.

  • Belgium 2000. Souvenir sheet issued at the occasion of the Royal Wedding in Brussels February 2000. From left to right: The bride's mother, King Albert II, the bride Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz, the groom Crown Prince Albert, Queen Paola, and the bride's father. 

Belgium 2005. Souvenir sheet. Queen Astrid and her three children.

Queen Astrid's tragic and early death has cast long shadows of grief onto Belgium, where her memory is still much alive. 

She was the most popular queen in Belgium ever, and was loved by high and low for her youth, her vitality, and good-natured character that became a model for many Belgians. Her Christian name, Astrid, has reached ever lasting popularity, and many baby girls are still named after her. Her popularity has nearly reached iconic status, and she will never be forgotten. 

  • Belgium 2005. Commemorative souvenir sheet containing one stamp showing a photograph of the queen with her children. Prince Albert is in her arms, next to her is Prince Baudouin, and then Princess Josephine-Charlotte. 

Through her youngest son, the present King Albert II, who has taken much after his mother, her posterity ensures the continuation for centuries to come of the Glücksburg Family on Belgian ground.  

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First published May 2000. Revised 03-jan-2007  
Copyright © 2000-2007 Ann Mette Heindorff
All Rights Reserved


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