Leopold III of Belgium

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Leopold III (born as Léopold Philippe Charles Albert Meinrad Hubertus Marie Miguel (French) or Leopold Filips Karel Albert Meinrad Hubertus Maria Miguel (Dutch) or Leopold Philipp Karl Albert Meinrad Hubertus Maria Miguel (German); 3 November 1901 – 25 September 1983) reigned as King of the Belgians from 1934 until 1951, when he abdicated in favour of the Heir Apparent, his son Baudouin.

Leopold III was born in Brussels as Prince Leopold of Belgium, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and succeeded to the throne of Belgium on 23 February 1934 following the death of his father, King Albert I.

He was invested as the 1,154th Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Spain in 1923, the 355th Grand Cross of the Order of the Tower and Sword in 1927 and the 833rd Knight of the Order of the Garter in 1935.


Early life and family

Crown Prince Leopold fought as a private during World War I with the 12th Belgian Regiment while still a teenager. After the war, in 1919, he enrolled first at Eton College in the United Kingdom, then at St. Anthony Seminary in Santa Barbara, California. He married Princess Astrid of Sweden in a civil ceremony in Stockholm on 4 November 1926, followed by a religious ceremony in Brussels on 10 November. The marriage produced three children:

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