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Albert I of Belgium

- King Albert I -

Albert I (April 8, 1875 - February 17,1934) was the third King of the Belgians.

Born Albert Leopold Clément Marie Meinrad in Brussels, he was the younger son of Philip, Count of Flanders, and succeeded his uncle, Leopold II of Belgium, on the throne on December 17, 1909.

He was married on October 2, 1900 to Duchess Elisabeth Gabrielle Valérie Marie in Bavaria, a Wittelsbach princess whom he met at a family funeral. She became Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians . A daughter of Karl-Theodor, Duke in Bavaria, and his wife, the Infanta Maria-Josepha of Portugal, she was born at Possenhofen , Bavaria, Germany on July 25, 1876, and died on November 23, 1965.

Their children:

  • Charles|Karel Théodore Henri Antoine Meinrad, Count of Flanders, Prince of Belgium, Regent of Belgium, born Brussels October 10, 1903, and died at Ostend on June 1, 1983.

At the beginning of World War I, Albert resisted the German advance and held them off long enough for Britain and France to prepare for the Battle of the Marne (September 6 - 9, 1914). He led his army through the Battle of the Yser and at the end of the war back into its own territory. He re-entered Brussels to a hero's welcome.

King Albert I died in a climbing accident at Marche-les-Dames , in the Ardennes region of Belgium near Namur. He is interred in the Royal vault at the Church of Our Lady, Laeken Cemetery, Brussels, Belgium.

In 1935, prominent Belgian author Emile Cammaerts published a widely acclaimed biography of King Albert I.

Preceded by:
Leopold II
King of the Belgians Succeeded by:
Leopold III

Last updated: 11-06-2004 07:02:43