When he returned, he was greeted by strikes and protests, and to save the monarchy and the unity of the nation of Belgium, he agreed to abdicate in favour of his son, Baudouin, in 1951. He was 81. In January 1944, Leopold also wrote his “Political Testament.” Bearing a negative tone, the testament clarified that he didn’t regret his abdication. He refused to reply to their messages and stayed cool toward them. Because of the controversy about his conduct during the war, Leopold III and his wife and children were unable to return to Belgium and spent the next six years in exile at Pregny-Chambésy near Geneva, Switzerland. He was succeeded by his son Baudouin. Although he won 58% of the votes in his favor, the opposition led him to renounce his sovereignty and eventually abdicate in 1951. Astrid took particular interest in the welfare of women, children and the disadvantaged. He alongside his wife and children spent the subsequent six years in exile at Pregny-Chambésy in Switzerland. Leopold III of Belgium, reigned as the fourth King of the Belgians from 1934 until 1951, when he abdicated in favour of the heir apparent, his son Baudouin. In 1909 his father became King of the Belgians, as Albert I, and Prince Leopold became Duke of Brabant. Leopold III Philippe Charles Albert Meinrad Hubertus Marie Miguel von Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha was born 3 November 1901 in Brussels, Belgium to Albert I of Belgium (1875-1934) and Elisabeth Gabriele in Bayern (1876-1965) and died 25 September 1983 inWoluwe-Saint-Lambert, Belgium of unspecified causes.  Two days later (27 May 1940), Leopold surrendered the Belgian forces to the Germans. The letter never reached the king and the ministers assumed that the king was ignoring them. Leopold was forced to surrender his forces after World War II and was held captive by the Germans until 1944. Leopold rejected cooperation with the government of Nazi Germany and refused to administer Belgium in accordance with its dictates; thus, the Germans implemented a military government. Leopold's second wife, the Princess de Réthy, was later interred with them. The letter from the Cardinal revealed that the king's new wife would be known as Princesse de Réthy, not Queen Lilian, and that any children they had would have no claim to the throne. Dziennik Personalny M.S.Wojsk. In August 1935, while on a private holiday in Switzerland, Leopold and Astrid were involved in a car accident, and Astrid was killed instantly. The Miracle of Dunkirk, Walter Lord, New York 1982, p. 101. The ministers made several efforts during the war to work out a suitable agreement with Leopold III. On 25 May 1940, Leopold notified King George VI about the state of their army. On 4 November 1926, Leopold III married Princess Astrid of Sweden. After Leopold's surrender, the British press denounced him as "Traitor King" and "King Rat"; the Daily Mirror published a picture of Leopold with the headline "The Face That Every Woman Now Despises". Prime Minister Hubert Pierlot reminded him that capitulation was a decision for the Belgian government, not the King. Prince Leopold was born in Brussels, the first child of Prince Albert, Duke of Brabant, heir to the Belgian throne, and his consort, Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria. ", Belgian historian Francis Balace wrote that capitulation was inevitable because the Belgian Army was not able to fight any longer against the German army. Leopold's surrender was also decried by Winston Churchill. The Germans held him at first under house arrest at the Royal Castle of Laeken. Leopold was born in Brussels on 3 November 1901, as the eldest child of Prince Albert, Duke of Brabant and his wife Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant. His act was declared unconstitutional by Prime Minister Hubert Pierlot and his cabinet, who presently moved to London to form a government-in-exile, while Leopold and his family were placed under house arrest. He married Astrid of Sweden (1905-1935) 4 November 1926 in Stockholm, Sweden. Regency and guardianship are to be provided by the united Chambers.. A year later, his abdication officially took effect. A group of Belgian refugees in Paris placed a message at King Albert's statue denouncing his son as "your unworthy successor". The ministers took this to mean that he would establish a new government under the direction of Hitler, potentially a treasonous act. After his military surrender, Leopold (unlike Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands in a similar predicament) remained in Brussels to surrender to the victorious invaders, while his entire civil government fled to Paris and later to London. The French liaison officer, General Champon, told Brooke that Van Overstraeten had ascendancy over the King and had taken control, so it was useless to see the Chief of Staff. His abdication took effect on 16 July 1951. Leopold served as a soldier during the final campaign of First World War. Leopold then remained in Switzerland from 1945 to 1950, awaiting the resolution of the “Royal Question” regarding his pending return to the royal throne. "There are deep differences even in the royal family and the situation holds dynamite for Belgium and perhaps for Europe". Who Is The Greatest Female Warrior In History? In August 1914, Germany invaded Belgium. Nr 13 z 8.06.1922 r. Joséphine-Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, Learn how and when to remove this template message, Princess Henriette, Duchess of Vendome and Alençon, Joséphine Caroline, Princess of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, Louise, Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Princess Astrid, Archduchess of Austria-Este, they had would have no claim to the throne, Centenary of National Independence Commemorative Medal, Grand Cordon of the Order of Brilliant Jade, Grand Officer of the Million Elephants and the White Parasol, Grand Cross of the Order of Merit, with Holy Crown, Grand Cross of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, Bailiff Grand Cross of Justice, Special Class, Princess Marie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, Princess Adelaide of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, "Jonathan E. Helmreich, Dean of Instruction (Allegheny College), United States Policy and the Belgian Royal Question (March – October, 1945)", "wearing Belgian, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish orders", "Kolana Řádu Bílého lva aneb hlavy států v řetězech", "La Légion d'honneur – Site de la Ville de Liège", Ordem Militar da Torre e Espada - Processos de Estrangeiros: Príncipe Leopoldo da Bélgica (Duque de Brabante e Príncipe Herdeiro), "Caballeros de la insigne orden del toisón de oro", "Knights of the Garter created during the reign of King George V (1910–1936)", Official biography from the Belgian Royal Family website, Our Royal Guest: King Leopold In England (1937), Princess Lilian, his second wife (in French), Newspaper clippings about Leopold III of Belgium, Albert, Prince Consort of the United Kingdom, King Ferdinand II of Portugal and the Algarves, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Leopold_III_of_Belgium&oldid=990510656, Belgian military personnel of World War I, Burials at the Church of Our Lady of Laeken, Grand Crosses of the Order of the African Star, Grand Crosses of the Royal Order of the Lion, Grand Crosses of the Order of the Crown (Belgium), Recipients of the Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold II, Honorary Knights Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Bailiffs Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Recipients of the Order of the Netherlands Lion, Grand Crosses of the Order of Christ (Portugal), Grand Crosses of the Order of Saint James of the Sword, Grand Crosses of the Order of the Tower and Sword, Knights of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau, Grand Crosses with Diamonds of the Order of the Sun of Peru, Recipients of the Order of Brilliant Jade, Knights Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, Recipients of the Order of the Crown (Italy), Articles with unsourced statements from September 2009, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles needing additional references from November 2019, All articles needing additional references, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from July 2014, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 24 November 2020, at 22:02.