Louise of Orléans

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Louise of Orléans
Louise of Orléans (Queen of the Belgians) by Winterhalter, 1841.jpg
Portrait by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1841
Queen consort of the Belgians
Tenure9 August 1832 – 11 October 1850
Born(1812-04-03)3 April 1812
Palermo, Sicily
Died11 October 1850(1850-10-11) (aged 38)
Ostend, Kingdom of Belgium
Full name
Louise-Marie Thérèse Charlotte Isabelle
FatherLouis Philippe I
MotherMaria Amalia of the Two Sicilies
ReligionRoman Catholic
SignatureLouise of Orléans's signature

Louise of Orléans (Louise-Marie Thérèse Charlotte Isabelle; 3 April 1812 – 11 October 1850) was a French princess who became the first Queen of the Belgians as the second wife of King Leopold I. She was also known as Louise-Marie.[1]


Born in Palermo, Sicily, on 3 April 1812, she was the eldest daughter of the future Louis-Philippe I, King of the French, and of his wife Maria Amalia of the Two Sicilies. As a child, she had a religious and bourgeoisie education thanks to the part played by her mother and her aunt, Princess Adélaïde of Orléans to whom she was very close. As a member of the reigning House of Bourbon she was entitled to the rank of a Princess of the Blood Royal.


On 9 August 1832, the twenty-year-old Louise married King Leopold I of the Belgians, who was twenty-two years her senior. Leopold had been widowed by his wife, Princess Charlotte of Wales after her death in childbirth in 1817. Since Leopold was a Protestant, they had both a Catholic and a Calvinist ceremony.


Louise and Leopold had four children, including Leopold II of Belgium and Empress Carlota of Mexico. Although never faithful to Louise, Leopold respected her and their relationship was a harmonious one.

Louise was the 298th Dame of the Royal Order of Queen Maria Luisa on 10 February 1835. A devoted wife and loving mother, she was of a very shy nature and was often only seen in public when her husband forced her. She soon proved to be very popular at the Belgian court with her famous generosity and beauty.

Charity work[edit]

Every morning, Queen Louise-Marie received reports about some needy families. She then personally visited their homes to bring them comfort and financial aid. Sometimes Queen Louise-Marie did not have enough money for her charitable works and then borrowed money without telling her husband.[2]


Queen Louise-Marie died of tuberculosis in the former Royal palace of Ostend on 11 October 1850.[3] Her death was confirmed in record by Charles Rogier. Her body was brought to Laeken, and a memorial was erected in Oostende. She is buried beside her husband in Royal Crypt of the Church of Our Lady of Laeken.


Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 3 April 1812 – 9 August 1830: Her Serene Highness Mademoiselle d'Orléans [Princess of the blood]
  • 9 August 1830 – 9 August 1832: Her Royal Highness Princess Louise of Orléans
  • 9 August 1832 – 11 October 1850: Her Majesty The Queen of the Belgians




  1. ^ Flantzer, Susan. "Louise-Marie of Orleans, Queen of the Belgians". Unofficial Royalty.
  2. ^ Flantzer, Susan. "Louise-Marie of Orleans, Queen of the Belgians". Unofficial Royalty.
  3. ^ King Leopold I, Monarchie.be, Retrieved 2 April 2016

Further reading[edit]

Louise of Orléans
Cadet branch of the House of Bourbon
Born: 3 April 1812 Died: 11 October 1850
Belgian royalty
New title Queen consort of the Belgians
Title next held by
Marie Henriette of Austria