|Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium|
Joséphine-Charlotte in 1976
|Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg|
|Tenure||12 November 1964 – 7 October 2000|
|Born||Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium|
11 October 1927
Royal Palace of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium
|Died||10 January 2005 (aged 77)|
Fischbach Castle, Fischbach, Luxembourg
|Burial||15 January 2005|
|Father||King Leopold III of Belgium|
|Mother||Astrid of Sweden|
Joséphine-Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg (born Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium; 11 October 1927 - 10 January 2005), was the Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg as the wife of Grand Duke Jean. She was the first child of King Leopold III of Belgium, and sister of the late King Baudouin and former King Albert II and aunt of King Philippe. She was also the first cousin of King Harald V of Norway.
Joséphine-Charlotte was born in 1927 at the Royal Palace of Brussels. She was the oldest child and only daughter of the King Leopold III of Belgium and his first wife, Princess Astrid of Sweden. She was christened a month after her birth. Her godfather was her uncle, Prince Charles, Count of Flanders and her godmother was her future mother-in-law, Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg.
While expecting her daughter, Astrid had read a biography of her ancestress, the French empress Joséphine de Beauharnais. Josephine was also the name of one of the child's great-aunts, Princess Joséphine-Caroline of Belgium, the dearest sister of King Albert I. Astrid was a devoted mother to her "little Jo". The young Princess spent her childhood at the Stuyvenberg Palace just outside Brussels with her parents. She was the sister of Belgian monarchs Baudouin and Albert II.
Joséphine-Charlotte's popular mother was killed in an automobile accident in 1935 at age 29. After her mother's death, Joséphine-Charlotte tried to take care of her younger brothers, Baudouin and Albert. The Belgian public extended their enormous sympathies onto the grieving family, with great concern given to the effects it had on Joséphine-Charlotte and her brothers. King Leopold remained a devoted father to his children and kept close ties with his late wife's family. Many photographs exist from this time of the children with their Swedish grandparents and Norwegian cousins.
Later, in 1941, her father remarried to Mary Lilian Baels (later became Princess of Réthy). This marriage produced three more children: Prince Alexandre, Princess Marie-Christine and Princess Marie-Esméralda. Joséphine-Charlotte had a close relationship with Lilian before her marriage to Jean of Luxembourg. Joséphine-Charlotte became the godmother to her younger half-brother, Alexandre.
Princess Joséphine-Charlotte first attended school at the Royal Palace, where a small class had been organized for her. At the end of 1940, she entered a boarding school and then continued her education with her own private teachers. On 7 June 1944, the day after the Allied Forces landed in Normandy, France, she and her father were sent to Germany and kept there under house arrest. The Royal Family, which included her brothers Baudouin and Albert and their stepmother, Mary Lilian Baels, Princess of Réthy, was freed on 7 May 1945 and settled in Prégny, Switzerland.
Princess Joséphine-Charlotte continued her studies at the Ecole Supérieure de Jeunes Filles in Geneva, Switzerland. Afterwards, she took Jean Piaget's lectures on child psychology at the University of Geneva. When she returned to Belgium the princess took up her official duties. At the same time, she also devoted herself to social problems and developed her interest in the arts.
Joséphine Charlotte was joined in marriage on 9 April 1953 in Luxembourg to Prince Jean, who at the time was The Hereditary Grand Duke and heir-apparent to the throne of Luxembourg. During their 52-year marriage, the royal couple had five children:
As a princess in the royal house of Belgium, Joséphine Charlotte brought a wealth of elegance, taste and refinement to her new homeland. She carried out many social, cultural and humanitarian duties. She focused on several initiatives that she would ardently support, particularly matters pertaining to children and families. She was also president of the Luxembourg Youth Section of the Red Cross. She also served as honorary president of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, and president of the Luxembourg Red Cross. The Grand Duchess also oversaw the restoration of the Grand Ducal Palace from 1991 until 1996.
Joséphine-Charlotte metro station in Brussels is named after her. One of her wedding gifts was a diamond tiara, given by the Société Générale. This is now part of the Luxembourg reigning family's jewel collection.
|Ancestors of Princess Joséphine Charlotte of Belgium|
Media related to Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium at Wikimedia Commons
Princess Joséphine Charlotte of Belgium
Cadet branch of the House of WettinBorn: 11 October 1927 Died: 10 January 2005
Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma
as prince consort
| Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg
Duchess consort of Nassau
María Teresa Mestre y Batista