Louise of Orleans
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Louise of Orleans
Louise of Orléans
Louise d'Orléans, reine des Belges.jpg
Portrait by Winterhalter, c. 1844-5
Queen consort of the Belgians
Tenure9 August 1832 - 11 October 1850
Born(1812-04-03)3 April 1812
Palazzo d'Orléans Palermo, Sicily
Died11 October 1850(1850-10-11) (aged 38)
Ostend, Belgium
(m. 1832)
Full name
Louise-Marie Thérèse Charlotte Isabelle
FatherLouis Philippe I
MotherMaria Amalia of the Two Sicilies
ReligionRoman Catholic
SignatureLouise of Orléans's signature
Coat of Arms of Louise, Queen of Belgium (Order of Maria Luisa).svg

Louise of Orléans (Louise Marie Thérèse Charlotte Isabelle; 3 April 1812 – 11 October 1850) was a French princess who became the first Queen of the Belgians as the second wife of King Leopold I.


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.


Portrait by Winterhalter (1841). Currently at the Royal Collection.

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.[]

  1. Louis Philippe, Crown Prince of Belgium (24 July 1833 - 16 May 1834)
  2. King Leopold II of the Belgians (9 April 1835 - 17 December 1909)
  3. Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders (24 March 1837 - 17 November 1905) His son succeeded Leopold II as King Albert I of the Belgians.
  4. Princess Charlotte of Belgium (7 June 1840 - 19 January 1927), consort of Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico.

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.

Charity work

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.[1] 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.




External links

Media related to Louise of Orléans at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ King Leopold I, Monarchie.be, Retrieved 2 April 2016
  2. ^ Bragança, Jose Vicente de (2014). "Agraciamentos Portugueses Aos Príncipes da Casa Saxe-Coburgo-Gota" [Portuguese Honours awarded to Princes of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha]. Pro Phalaris (in Portuguese). 9-10: 5. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ "Real orden de damas nobles de la Reina Maria Luisa", Calendario Manual y Guía de Forasteros en Madrid (in Spanish): 91, 1848, retrieved 2020

Further reading

  • (in French) Mia Kerckvoorde (2002). Louise d'Orléans, reine oubliée, 1812-1850. Paris: Duculot. ISBN 2-8011-0949-5.
  • (in French) Madeleine Lassère (2006). Louise, reine des Belges. 1812-1850. Paris: Perrin. ISBN 2-262-02366-2.
Louise of Orléans
Cadet branch of the Bourbons of France
Born: 3 April 1812 Died: 11 October 1850
Belgian royalty
New title Queen consort of the Belgians
Title next held by
Marie Henriette of Austria

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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