Tea at Trianon Forum
Always be polite. Courtesy is required of you.
Tea with the Queen
Latest topics
» Remembering Louis XVI
King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) EmptyWed Jan 22, 2020 10:04 am by vendéenne d'âme

» Mass for Louis XVI on live video
King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) EmptyTue Jan 21, 2020 6:10 pm by vendéenne d'âme

» Judges 17:6
King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) EmptyThu Jan 16, 2020 11:29 pm by vendéenne d'âme

» War in the Vendée/Guerre de Vendée
King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) EmptyThu Jan 09, 2020 4:37 pm by vendéenne d'âme

» The Comte de Chambord (Henri V)
King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) EmptySun Jan 05, 2020 5:24 pm by vendéenne d'âme

» Reflection: Les Membres et L'Estomac
King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) EmptySun Jan 05, 2020 2:35 am by vendéenne d'âme

» The Habsburg Appreciation Thread
King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) EmptySun Jan 05, 2020 12:45 am by vendéenne d'âme

» The Great Monarch
King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) EmptyThu Dec 19, 2019 11:21 pm by Elena

» Jews in Royal France
King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) EmptyFri Mar 23, 2018 10:49 pm by princess garnet

Who is online?
In total there is 0 user online :: 0 Registered, 0 Hidden and 0 Guests :: 1 Bot

None

[ View the whole list ]


Most users ever online was 70 on Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:35 pm
Social bookmarking

Social bookmarking reddit  Social bookmarking google      

Bookmark and share the address of Tea at Trianon Forum on your social bookmarking website

Banner art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.

King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902)

Go down

King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) Empty King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902)

Post  May on Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:59 pm

Belgium's most controversial monarch, decried for his treatment of the Congo and his dissolute private life:

http://madmonarchist.blogspot.com/2010/05/monarch-profile-king-leopold-ii-of.html

Insightful reminiscences of Leopold II and his last mistress, Blanche Caroline Delacroix, known as Baroness Vaughan, by Xavier Paoli:

http://crossoflaeken.blogspot.com/2009/07/vignettes-of-leopold-ii.html

The life of Leopold's unhappy wife, Marie-Henriette of Austria:

http://crossoflaeken.blogspot.com/2009/07/marie-henriette-of-austria-queen-of.html
May
May

Posts : 488
Join date : 2011-10-24
Location : United States

http://crossoflaeken.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) Empty Re: King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902)

Post  May on Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:55 pm

King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) 240px-StoryoftheCongoFreeState_0
StoryoftheCongoFreeState 0 [Public domain], by Jef Leempoela, from Wikimedia Commons

King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) 2252930572_51d89afb3d
Marie Henriette, Königin von Belgien, Queen of Belgium by Miss Mertens, on Flickr
May
May

Posts : 488
Join date : 2011-10-24
Location : United States

http://crossoflaeken.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) Empty Re: King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902)

Post  Elena on Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:32 pm

So sad! Crying or Very sad

_________________
Je pardonne à tous mes ennemis le mal qu’ils m’ont fait.
Elena
Elena
Admin

Posts : 1167
Join date : 2011-10-18
Location : East of the Sun, West of the Moon

http://www.emvidal.com/

Back to top Go down

King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) Empty Re: King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902)

Post  May on Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:50 am

Yes, very sad.

However, even Leopold II made sure to receive the Last Rites and to regularize his relationship with his mistress, at the end of his life...
May
May

Posts : 488
Join date : 2011-10-24
Location : United States

http://crossoflaeken.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) Empty Re: King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902)

Post  May on Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:13 pm

May
May

Posts : 488
Join date : 2011-10-24
Location : United States

http://crossoflaeken.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) Empty Re: King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902)

Post  May on Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:03 pm

King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) 461px-Leopold_II_gravure

http://crossoflaeken.blogspot.com/2009/07/king-leopold-ii-through-his-daughters.html

King Leopold II, through the eyes of his eldest daughter Louise, as related in her memoirs:
My father was not only a great king—he was a great man.

A king may achieve greatness through possessing the art of surrounding himself with the right entourage, and thus taking advantage of the importance which it is then so easy for him to gain. He must be superior, at least at heart, to have a taste for superiority.

When he came into power Leopold II did not aim at gathering round him those wonderful intellects who would have inspired him to greatness. He had not the same chances as Louis XIV, neither had he those men whom his own example later developed. Belgium was still an adolescent State, the government of which required very careful and exclusive handling. She had sprung into being from twin countries, widely different in character, but united by the same laws. Her national policy is like a web whose mission it is to hold them together, but such a form of Constitution is not without its inconveniences.

For a long time the King's secret conviction was, that in order to be able to endure and strengthen herself, Belgium had urgent need of some great scheme which would produce in her an amalgamation of effort and intelligence, and allow her to take one of the highest places among the nations of the world.

He had carefully studied the map of the world, and his observations resulted in the unheard-of project of endowing his little kingdom with immense colonial possessions. He had at the time neither the money nor the army; he only had the idea, but the idea obsessed him and he lived for it alone.

The man whom I recall to my mind in thinking of the King is one whose silence always frightened me when I was a child. Here is an instance of his taciturn character.

The Queen is seated, holding in her hand a book which she is no longer reading. She is folding me close to her heart, whilst her eyes follow the King. The doors of the drawing-room leading to the other rooms are open, and the Sovereign paces backwards and forwards, his hands behind his back, almost like an automaton, without glancing at us and without breaking his interminable train of thought. Silence lies over the palace; nobody dares enter, for the King has forbidden access to the Royal apartments. The Queen and I are involuntary prisoners of this prisoner of his own thoughts.

The King was a fine and strong figure. His imposing personality and his characteristic physiognomy are familiar even to the new generation, who have only seen the popular pictures of him; but photographs never did justice to his expression of sceptical shrewdness. His eyes, as I have already said, were light brown; at the least opposition they assumed a fixed expression, and when it rested on my sisters and myself when we were in fault, the King's glance terrified us more than any reproaches or punishment.

The King's voice was deep and somewhat muffled in timbre, sometimes it grew nasal; when he was angry it became, like his eyes, as hard as a stone, but if he wished to please it became soft and emotional. People still speak of the manner in which he delivered his speech from the Throne after the death of Leopold I, and his touching opening words : " Gentlemen, Belgium, like myself, has lost a father."

When he was in a happy mood he became animated, although his humour, when he was pleased to show it, was always bitter and satirical—and he possessed it in abundance. I have never forgotten certain of his opinions touching his Ministers and contemporaries. Some of those who are still living would be very flattered to know them. Others would not!

The King paid little attention to me or my sisters; his fatherly caresses were rare and brief. We were always awed in his presence; he was ever to us more the King than the father.

With regard to his attitude towards the Queen, as far back as I can remember I always see him as the same self-centred and taciturn man in his relations with her.

He was constantly away from home, so we little ones were rarely with both our parents. I alone, on account of my age and the advantage which it gave me over my sisters, enjoyed a little family life with my father and my mother before the differences between them arose. But I cannot recall a single act of kindness or tenderness on his part towards my mother that I especially noticed in my youth.

I only know that at a certain epoch, when I was about eleven years old, the King, who like my mother adored flowers, never missed bringing her some every week which he had gathered himself in the Royal gardens. He would arrive in my mother's apartment laden with his fragrant harvest and would say to her abruptly, " Here you are, my good wife."

Stephanie and I would at once begin to refill the vases —I especially, for I had been taught by the Queen to love and arrange flowers, those discreet companions of our thoughts, which bring into the home perfume, colour, caresses and rest, and which are verily the quintessence of earth and heaven!

One day at Laeken my father offered me a gardenia. I was simply stupefied. I was then about thirteen. I hoped for a long time for a repetition ot this paternal graciousness, but in vain !

This prince of genius, whose political conceptions and manner of conducting negotiations useful to Belgium won the admiration, if not of those to whom they were advantageous, of at least the high intelligences of other countries, was singularly thorough in small things. He clung to his ideas and his personal concerns in a most obstinate manner. I have seen him look into the management of the gardens at Laeken with the greatest attention to every detail.

Large, juicy peaches grew on the walls of the gardens, and the King was very proud of them. I had a passion for peaches, and one day I dared eat one which was hidden away among the leaves. And that year peaches were plentiful. But the following day the King discovered the theft—what a dramatic moment! At once suspected, I confessed my crime and I was promptly punished. I did not realize that the King counted his peaches !

This great realist had a realistic mind, and materialism carried him on to idealism. I will not allow myself for a moment to suppose that he did not believe in God, but certainly he had a different conception of the Creator from that of the Queen. She suffered greatly through this attitude of her husband, but he persisted in his way of thinking.

On Sundays he used to attend Mass; he considered it was an example which he owed to the Court and the people. Sometimes he escorted the Queen to Divine Service, taking with him " Squib," a tiny terrier of which the Queen was very fond and which the King always spoke of as one refers to a person. He called it " The Squib."

It was a sight to see the big man holding the tiny dog under his arm—the little animal too terrified to move. Thus, one supporting the other, they both heard Mass seated beside the Queen, who assuredly did not think this a very religious procedure. When Mass was over, the King, still carrying Squib, would cross the reception rooms until he reached the dining-room, when he would gravely deposit the little dog on the Queen's knee.

With regard to the King's policy, I only knew and understood that related to the Congo. I knew the alternate hopes and fears which passed through the mind of the author of this gigantic enterprise. It was the one topic of conversation around me, and it was always mentioned with bated breath; but the things which are spoken of in this way are, I think, those one hears of most.

I know that the Royal fortune and that of my aunt the Empress Charlotte, which was administered by the King, were employed at one time, not without some risk, in the acquisition and organization of the possessions that the Great Powers afterwards disputed with Belgium. Those were anxious days for the King. He manoeuvred cleverly between the Powers. History knows the value of his work; she realizes what a profound politician he was. Official Belgium does not remember, but the people have never forgotten. I have confidence in the soul of Belgium, the Belgium who has shown her greatness in the years 1914-1918. King Leopold II will one day receive the recognition he merits in the country which he enriched, and which he always wished to fortify against the dangers of war.

The private failings of the man only harmed himself and his family; his people never suffered by reason of them. They have even benefited by the immense wealth which it pleased the King to assign to his country, regardless of the justice of reserving that portion which belonged to his daughters, who were excluded by him from the Belgian family...

The King had long wished that our fortunes (those of my sisters and myself) should be reduced to the minimum of what he considered convenient to assign to us, that is to say, much less than our needs required, because, after the death of our brother Leopold, he only saw in us impediments to his own ambition and he was tortured by the fact that he had no male descendant...

Clementine came into the world; her birth was preceded by many vain hopes, but when the longed-for child arrived it was once more a girl!

The King was furious and thenceforth refused to have anything to do with his admirable wife to whom God had refused a son. What a mystery of human tribulation!

As for the daughters born of the Royal union, they were merely accepted and tolerated, but the King's heart never softened towards them...


Last edited by Matterhorn on Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
May
May

Posts : 488
Join date : 2011-10-24
Location : United States

http://crossoflaeken.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) Empty Re: King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902)

Post  May on Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:06 pm

King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) 423px-Leopold_Duke_of_Brabant
Here, we see Prince Leopold, Duke of Brabant (1859-1869), the only son of King Leopold II and Queen Marie-Henriette. (I must say he looks like a sweet little boy.) A child of hope and promise, the focus of all his father's dynastic pride and ambition, he was also the cherished playmate of his sisters, Louise and Stephanie. Sadly, at age 10, he fell into a pond at Laeken Castle, and developed pneumonia and heart problems. After a long illness, he died. His parents were devastated. King Leopold, normally cold, haughty, and imperturbable, broke down completely at his son's burial. Without caring who was watching, he fell sobbing on his knees. He always remained bitterly disappointed by the loss of his heir.
May
May

Posts : 488
Join date : 2011-10-24
Location : United States

http://crossoflaeken.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) Empty Re: King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902)

Post  May on Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:12 am

Here are some pages from The Cambridge history of Africa: from 1870 to 1905 (1985) giving a well-balanced account of an inflammatory subject: the disastrous history of the Congo Free State, the unsavory colonial venture of the second King of the Belgians. Contrary to some versions, Leopold did initially have qualms upon hearing of crimes perpetrated against the Congolese. Tragically, however, he was then all too willing to be persuaded that these charges were calumnies. Crying or Very sad To quote:
All the principles of Congo policy were decided by the king. But in the implementation of these policies, the administration of the state often played its own game. This was particularly true of the domanial régime. Leopold's will was that the state should extract the maximum profit from its domain. But he was not very much concerned with the way this aim was reached. The system of outright exploitation of the native population which gave, as the figures of production show, such extraordinary results, was mainly devised by the administration, both in Brussels and in Africa. Leopold limited himself to noting that the yield was satisfactory. However when the first accusers rose up to denounce abuses in the treatment of the Africans, the king was deeply moved. From 1896 to 1900, as his private letters reveal, he passed through several periods of agony. 'We are condemned by civilized opinion', he wrote in September 1896. 'If there are abuses in the Congo, we must make them stop.' 'It is necessary to put down the horrible abuses', he repeated in January 1899. 'These horrors must end or I will retire from the Congo. I will not allow myself to be spattered with blood and mud.'

On the occasion of each of these crises of anger and disgust, the king reiterated strict orders: cruelty to the natives should be severely punished. The Congo administration just waited for the storm to pass. It had elaborated a system and stuck to it. Altering the system might weaken it. The lessening of pressure on the Africans would naturally bring about a reduction of revenue; and the administration was well aware that, if this occurred, it would have more than royal anger to face. In other words, the administration distinguished between the king's permanent and fundamental desire--to increase the output of the domain--and his occasional crises of conscience. It modelled its action on what was permanent and fundamental. All those linked with the régime, therefore, and desirous of exculpating themselves, tried to convince Leopold II that the accusations against the Congo were unjust or exaggerated and were made in great measure out of ill will. The attitude of Leopold who, unconsciously no doubt, was ready to be convinced, thus came to undergo profound modification; instead of being affected by the attacks, he began soon to react more and more violently against them. Whereas the king almost always dominated his entourage, it may be said that in this case he allowed himself to be dominated by it (pp. 320-321).
May
May

Posts : 488
Join date : 2011-10-24
Location : United States

http://crossoflaeken.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902) Empty Re: King Leopold II (1835-1909) and Queen Marie-Henriette (1836-1902)

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum