|Louise of Orléans|
Portrait by Winterhalter, c. 1844-5
|Queen consort of the Belgians|
|Tenure||9 August 1832 - 11 October 1850|
|Born||3 April 1812|
Palazzo d'Orléans Palermo, Sicily
|Died||11 October 1850 (aged 38)|
|Father||Louis Philippe I|
|Mother||Maria Amalia of the Two Sicilies|
Born in Palermo, Sicily, on 3 April 1812, she was the eldest daughter of the future Louis Philippe I, King of the French, and of his wife Maria Amalia of the Two Sicilies. As a child, she had a religious and bourgeoisie education thanks to the part played by her mother and her aunt, Princess Adélaïde of Orléans to whom she was very close. As a member of the reigning House of Orléans she was entitled to the rank of a Princess of the French Royal Blood.
On 9 August 1832, the twenty-year-old Louise married King Leopold I of the Belgians, who was twenty-two years her senior. Leopold had been widowed by his wife, Princess Charlotte of Wales after her death in childbirth in 1817. Since Leopold was a Protestant, they had both a Catholic and a Calvinist ceremony.
Louise and Leopold had four children, including Leopold II of Belgium and Empress Carlota of Mexico. Although never faithful to Louise, Leopold respected her and their relationship was a harmonious one.
Louise was the 298th Dame of the Royal Order of Queen Maria Luisa on 10 February 1835. A devoted wife and loving mother, she was of a very shy nature and was often only seen in public when her husband forced her. She soon proved to be very popular at the Belgian court with her famous generosity and beauty.
Every morning, Queen Louise received reports about some needy families. She then personally visited their homes to bring them comfort and financial aid. Sometimes Queen Louise did not have enough money for her charitable works and then borrowed money without telling her husband.
Queen Louise died of tuberculosis in the former Royal palace of Ostend on 11 October 1850. Her death was confirmed in record by ministers Charles Rogier and Victor Tesch. Her body was brought to Laeken, and a memorial was erected in Oostende. She is buried beside her husband in Royal Crypt of the Church of Our Lady of Laeken.
|Ancestors of Louise of Orléans|
Media related to Louise of Orléans at Wikimedia Commons