Louise d'Orléans, consort of Leopold I.
ShareThe first Queen of the Belgians, Louise d'Orléans, consort of Leopold I, is a figure I have long found fascinating and sympathetic. Since she was generally shy and retiring, died young, and was soon relegated to a vague, pious memory, she has been called la reine oubliée, the "Forgotten Queen." She certainly deserves to be remembered, though! Here are some facts about this lady; I hope they will show why she is intriguing and appealing...
- Her full baptismal name was Louise Marie Thérèse Charlotte Isabelle. The Louise was after her godfather, Louis XVIII of France; the Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte after her godmother, the Duchesse d'Angoulême, only surviving child of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, and Louise's first cousin once removed. Her family called her simply "Louise," but the Belgians, for some reason, called her "Louise-Marie."
- She adored her father, the controversial Louis-Philippe, Duc d'Orléans (later "King of the French") but was even closer to her mother, the universally revered Marie-Amélie of Naples. She inherited much of her mother's piety and charity, along with a certain amount of her father's political liberalism.