Princess Joséphine Charlotte of Belgium

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Joséphine Charlotte of Belgium
Joséphine-Charlotte vun der Belsch.jpg
Joséphine Charlotte in 1976
Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg
Tenure12 November 1964 – 7 October 2000
Born(1927-10-11)11 October 1927
Royal Palace of Brussels, Brussels, Kingdom of Belgium
Died10 January 2005(2005-01-10) (aged 77)
Fischbach Castle, Fischbach, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Burial15 January 2005
Full name
Joséphine-Charlotte Stéphanie Ingeborg Elisabeth Marie-José Marguerite Astrid[1]
FatherLeopold III of Belgium
MotherPrincess Astrid of Sweden

Princess Joséphine Charlotte of Belgium (Joséphine Charlotte Stéphanie Ingeborg Elisabeth Marie-José Marguerite Astrid; 11 October 1927 – 10 January 2005) was Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg as the wife of Grand Duke Jean. 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 I and former King Albert II and aunt of King Philippe I.


Joséphine-Charlotte was born in 1927 at the Royal Palace of Brussels. She was the oldest child and only daughter of the King Leopold III of the Belgians and his first wife, Astrid of Sweden.

Princess Joséphine-Charlotte was christened a month after her birth. Her godfather was her uncle, Prince Charles, Count of Flanders and her godmother was her future mother-in-law, Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg.[2]

While expecting her daughter, Astrid had read a biography of her ancestress, the French empress Joséphine de Beauharnais. Josephine was also the name of one of the child's great-aunts, Princess Joséphine-Caroline of Belgium, 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.[3] She was the sister of Belgian monarchs Baudouin and Albert II.[4]

Joséphine-Charlotte's popular mother was killed in an automobile accident in 1935 at age 29. Joséphine-Charlotte responded courageously to the situation, trying to take care of her younger brothers, Baudouin and Albert. The Belgian public extended their enormous sympathies onto the grieving family, with great concern given to the effects it had on Joséphine-Charlotte and her brothers. By all accounts, Leopold remained a devoted father to his children and kept close ties with his late wife's family. Many photographs exist from this time of children with their Swedish grandparents and Norwegian cousins.[2]

Later, in 1941, her father remarried to Mary Lilian Baels (later became Princess of Réthy). This marriage produced three more children: Prince Alexandre, Princess Marie-Christine and Princess Marie-Esméralda. Joséphine-Charlotte had a close relationship with Lilian before her marriage to Jean of Luxembourg.[2] Joséphine-Charlotte became the godmother to her younger half-brother, Alexandre.


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.[3]

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.[3]


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.[4] During their 52-year marriage, the royal couple had five children:[3]

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.[4] She also served as honorary president of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, and president of the Luxembourg Red Cross.[5]

Her favorite hobbies included gardening and horticulture. She also enjoyed hunting, fishing, skiing and other watersports.[3]

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


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.[6]






  1. ^ "Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium, Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg". Unofficial Royalty. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Wedding of Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg and Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium". Unofficial Royalty. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Notice biographique de S.A.R. la Grande-Duchesse Joséphine-Charlotte". Government of Luxembourg. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  4. ^ a b c "Grand Duchess Joséphine Charlotte of Luxembourg". The Daily Telegraph. 11 January 2005. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  5. ^ "Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium, Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg". Unofficial Royalty. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ "Visite d'Etat belge au Luxembourg". Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  8. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  9. ^ "Photo of Jean and Joséphine-Charlotte" (JPG). Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  10. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  11. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  12. ^ "Wedding of Juan Carlos of Spain and Sophia of Greece". Archived from the original on 2014-03-06. Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  13. ^ Icelandese Presidency Website Archived 2015-07-17 at the Wayback Machine, Josephine Charlotte; stórhertogafrú; Lúxemborg ; 1986-06-09; Stórkross (=Josephine Charlotte, Grand Duchess, Luxembourg, 9 June 1986, Grand Cross)
  14. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  15. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  16. ^ "Le Prince Jean De Luxembourg Et Sa Femme Joséphine-Charlotte Au Vatican". Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  17. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  18. ^ "Jean with Pope John Paul I". Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  19. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  20. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  21. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  22. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  23. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  24. ^ "CIDADÃOS ESTRANGEIROS AGRACIADOS COM ORDENS PORTUGUESAS - Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas". Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  25. ^ "Boletín Oficial del Estado" (PDF). Boe.est. Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  26. ^ "Boletín Oficial del Estado" (PDF). Boe.est. Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  27. ^ "50Th Anniversary Of King Carl Gustav Of Sweden In Stockholm, Sweden On April 30, 1996". Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  28. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  29. ^ "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