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Astrid of Sweden

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Astrid of Sweden
Crown princess Astrid 1926.jpg
Astrid, Duchess of Brabant, 1926
Queen consort of the Belgians
Tenure 17 February 1934 – 29 August 1935
Spouse Leopold III of Belgium
Issue
Joséphine-Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
Baudouin of Belgium
Albert II of Belgium
House House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
House of Bernadotte
Father Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland
Mother Princess Ingeborg of Denmark
Born 17 November 1905(1905-11-17)
Stockholm
Died 29 August 1935 (aged 29)
Küssnacht am Rigi, Schwyz, Switzerland
Princess Astrid engaged in 1926

Engagement of Princess Astrid and Crown Prince Leopold on 21 September 1926

Astrid of Sweden (Astrid Sofia Lovisa Thyra of Sweden; 17 November 1905 – 29 August 1935) was Queen of the Belgians as the wife of King Leopold III.

Early life

Princess Astrid of Sweden was born in Stockholm on 17 November 1905. She was the niece of King Gustav V of Sweden, since she was the youngest daughter of the king's brother, Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland, and his wife, Princess Ingeborg of Denmark. Astrid's paternal grandfather was King Oscar II of Sweden and her maternal grandfather was King Frederick VIII of Denmark. Astrid's sister, Princess Märtha, married the future King Olav V of Norway. Her eldest sister, Princess Margaretha of Sweden married Prince Axel of Denmark, while her only brother Prince Carl, Duke of Östergötland, married morganatically.

Marriage

In Stockholm, on 4 November 1926 civilly and religiously in Brussels on 10 November, Princess Astrid married Crown Prince Leopold of Belgium, the son of King Albert I of Belgium and his wife, Queen Elisabeth, born Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria. It was a happy and devoted marriage (Beeche).

Astrid was enthusiastically adopted by the Belgians. She was widely loved for her beauty, kindness, charm and simplicity. In 1927, Leopold and Astrid had a daughter, Princess Josephine-Charlotte, and in 1930, their first son, Prince Baudouin (who eventually succeeded his father as King of the Belgians).

Conversion to Catholicism

Raised as a Lutheran, Astrid converted to Catholicism after marrying Prince Leopold. She had initially considered converting to Catholicism, simply because it was the religion of Belgium, but the priest she consulted told her not to do so until she genuinely believed it was the true religion (Rooth). Astrid learned more about Catholicism and, several years later, in 1930, converted from genuine conviction. Her decision made her happy, and she confided to a close childhood friend: “My soul has found peace" ( Sparre ). Her father-in-law, King Albert, who was very devout himself, said, over and over again, on the day of Astrid's conversion: "I am very glad. Now the family is united in the same religion." ( d'Ydewalle )

Queen

On February 17, 1934, King Albert died in a mountain-climbing accident in Marche-les-Dames, Belgium. Leopold and Astrid became the new King and Queen of the Belgians. Later that year, the third child of Leopold and Astrid was born. He was named Albert after his grandfather, and would eventually succeed his brother Baudouin as King of the Belgians.

As Queen, Astrid dedicated her time to raising her family and promoting social causes. She was very concerned with the situation of women, children, and the disadvantaged. During an economic crisis in Belgium in 1935, she organized a collection of clothing and food for the poor (Sparre). She did this through an open letter, which was published as the “Queen’s Appeal”.

Template:Infobox consortstyles

Death

Astridkapelle

Astrid chapel in Switzerland

Tragically, at age 29, Queen Astrid was killed in a car accident in the mountains, at Küssnacht am Rigi, near Lake Lucerne, Schwyz, Switzerland, on 29 August 1935. She was deeply mourned by her husband, King Leopold, by the Belgians, and by the Swedes. A commemorative chapel was built in Switzerland at the site of the crash. Queen Astrid is still remembered with great affection by the Belgians, and, because of the Queen, the Belgians developed a very positive image of Sweden (Rooth).

Queen Astrid is interred in the royal vault at the Church of Our Lady in Laeken, Belgium, beside her husband, King Leopold III of the Belgians, and his second wife, Princess Lilian of Belgium.

Ancestry

References

  • Catherine Barjansky. "Portraits with Backgrounds."
  • Art Beeche. "The Snow Princess."
  • Robert Capelle. "Dix-huit ans auprès du Roi Léopold."
  • Charles d'Ydewalle. "Albert and the Belgians: Portrait of a King."
  • Evelyn Graham. "Albert King of the Belgians."
  • Luciano Regolo. "La Regina Incompresa."
  • Lars Rooth. "More Joy Than Pain."
  • Anna Sparre. "Astrid mon amie."

External links

Astrid of Sweden
Born: 17 November 1905 Died: 29 August 1935
Belgian royalty
Preceded by
Elisabeth of Bavaria
Queen consort of the Belgians
1934–1935
Vacant
Title next held by
Fabiola de Mora y Aragón
Royal titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Marie Henriette of Austria
Duchess of Brabant
1926–1934
Vacant
Title next held by
Mathilde

Template:Swedish princesses Template:Belgian princesses by marriagear:أستريد من السويد ca:Àstrid de Suècia cs:Astrid Švédskágl:Astrid de Suecia is:Astrid Belgíudrottninghu:Asztrid belga királyné mr:ऍस्ट्रीड, बेल्जियमja:アストリッド・ド・スエード no:Astrid av Sverigept:Astrid da Suécia ro:Astrid a Suediei ru:Астрид Шведская sv:Astrid av Sverige th:เจ้าหญิงแอสตริดแห่งสวีเดน

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