Princess Joséphine Charlotte of Belgium

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Joséphine Charlotte of Belgium
Joséphine-Charlotte vun der Belsch.jpg
Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg
Tenure 12 November 1964 – 7 October 2000
Born (1927-10-11)11 October 1927
Royal Palace of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium
Died 10 January 2005(2005-01-10) (aged 77)
Fischbach Castle, Fischbach, Luxembourg
Burial Notre-Dame Cathedral, Luxembourg
Spouse Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg (m. 1953)
Issue Archduchess Marie Astrid of Austria
Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Prince Jean
Princess Margaretha
Prince Guillaume
Full name
Joséphine Charlotte Stéphanie Ingeborg Elisabeth Marie Josepha Marguerite Astrid
House Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Father King Leopold III of Belgium
Mother Princess Astrid of Sweden
Religion Catholicism

Princess Joséphine Charlotte of Belgium (Joséphine Charlotte Stéphanie Ingeborg Elisabeth Marie Josepha Marguerite Astrid; 11 October 1927 – 10 January 2005), also Grand Duchess Joséphine Charlotte of Luxembourg was the Grand Duchess consort of Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg. She was a first cousin of Harald V of Norway. She was the first child of King Leopold III of Belgium, and sister of the late King Baudouin and retired King Albert II, and aunt of King Philippe.


She was born at the Royal Palace of Brussels as the oldest child and only daughter of King Leopold III of Belgium and his first wife Princess Astrid of Sweden. While expecting her daughter, Astrid had been reading a biography of the Empress Josephine, the consort of Napoleon Bonaparte. She must have found Josephine very appealing, as she decided to name the little Princess, born October 11, 1927, after her. Josephine was also the name of one of the child's great-aunts, the dearest sister of King Albert I. Astrid was a devoted mother to her "little Jo." The young Princess spent her childhood at the Stuyvenberg Palace just outside Brussels with her parents, Prince Léopold and Princess Astrid.[1] Her mother, who was born a Princess of Sweden and a direct descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte's first wife Joséphine, was killed in an automobile accident in 1935 at age 29. Her father was a direct descendant of Stéphanie de Beauharnais, cousin of Joséphine's first husband and adopted daughter of Joséphine's second husband. She was the sister of Belgian monarchs Baudouin and Albert II.[2]


Princess Joséphine Charlotte first attended school at the Royal Palace, where a small class had been organized for her. At the end of 1940, she entered a boarding school and then continued her education with her own private teachers. On 7 June 1944, the day after the Allied Forces landed in Normandy, France, she and her father were sent to Germany and kept there under house-arrest. The Royal Family, which included her brothers Baudouin and Albert and their stepmother, Mary Lilian Baels, Princess of Réthy, was freed on 7 May 1945 and settled in Prégny, Switzerland.[1]

Princess Joséphine Charlotte continued her studies at the "Ecole Supérieure de Jeunes Filles" in Geneva, Switzerland. Afterwards, she took Jean Piaget's lectures on child psychology at the University of Geneva. When she returned to Belgium the princess took up her official duties. At the same time, she also devoted herself to social problems and developed her interest in the arts.[1]


Joséphine Charlotte was joined in marriage on 9 April 1953 in Luxembourg to Prince Jean, who at the time was The Hereditary Grand Duke and heir-apparent to the throne of Luxembourg.[2] Although politically motivated, it was a happy match. During their 52-year marriage, the royal couple had five children:[1]

As a princess in the royal house of Belgium, Joséphine Charlotte brought a wealth of elegance, taste and refinement to her new homeland. She carried out many social, cultural and humanitarian duties. She focused on several initiatives that she would ardently support, particularly matters pertaining to children and families. She was also president of the Luxembourg Youth Section of the Red Cross.[2]

Her favorite hobbies included gardening and horticulture. She also enjoyed hunting, fishing, skiing and other watersports.[1]

The Grand Duchess, who suffered from lung cancer for a long time, died at her home, Fischbach Castle, at the age of 77, in the presence of her family.


Joséphine-Charlotte metro station in Brussels is named after her.

One of her wedding gifts was a diamond tiara, given by the Société Générale. This is now part of the Luxembourg reigning family's jewel collection.[3]

Titles, styles, and honours[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 11 October 1927 – 9 April 1953: Her Royal Highness Princess Joséphine Charlotte of Belgium
  • 9 April 1953 – 12 November 1964: Her Royal Highness The Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
  • 12 November 1964 – 7 October 2000: Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
  • 7 October 2000 – 10 January 2005: Her Royal Highness Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg


National honours[edit]

Foreign honours and decorations[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e "Notice biographique de S.A.R. la Grande-Duchesse Joséphine-Charlotte". Government of Luxembourg. Retrieved 2011-05-15. 
  2. ^ a b c "Grand Duchess Joséphine Charlotte of Luxembourg". The Telegraph. 2005-01-11. Retrieved 2011-05-15. 
  3. ^ "The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor: Tiara Thursday: The Belgian Scroll Tiara". The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "Visite d'Etat belge au Luxembourg". 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Photo of Jean and Joséphine-Charlotte
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Wedding of Juan Carlos of Spain and Sophia of Greece". 
  10. ^ Icelandese Presidency Website, Josephine Charlotte; stórhertogafrú; Lúxemborg ; 1986-06-09; Stórkross (=Josephine Charlotte, Grand Duchess, Luxembourg, 9 June 1986, Grand Cross)
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Le Prince Jean De Luxembourg Et Sa Femme Joséphine-Charlotte Au Vatican". 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Jean with Pope John Paul I". 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "CIDADÃOS ESTRANGEIROS AGRACIADOS COM ORDENS PORTUGUESAS - Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas". 
  22. ^ "Boletín Oficial del Estado" (PDF). 
  23. ^ "Boletín Oficial del Estado" (PDF). 
  24. ^ "50Th Anniversary Of King Carl Gustav Of Sweden In Stockholm, Sweden On April 30, 1996.". 
  25. ^
  26. ^ "The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor: Tiara Thursday: Grand Duchess Marie-Adélaïde's Tiara". Retrieved 2016-01-16. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium at Wikimedia Commons

Princess Joséphine Charlotte of Belgium
Cadet branch of the House of Wettin
Born: 11 October 1927 Died: 10 January 2005
Luxembourgish royalty
Preceded by
Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma
as prince consort
Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg
Duchess consort of Nassau

Succeeded by
María Teresa Mestre y Batista