Princess Marie-Christine of Belgium

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Princess Marie-Christine
Born (1951-02-06) 6 February 1951 (age 67)
Stuyvenberg Castle, Laeken, Brussels, Belgium
Spouse
Paul Druker
(m. 1981; div. 1985)

Jean-Paul Gourgues
(m. 1989)
Full name
French: Marie-Christine Daphné Astrid Elisabeth Léopoldine
House Belgium
Father Leopold III of Belgium
Mother Mary Lilian Baels
Styles of
Princess Marie-Christine of Belgium
State Coat of Arms of Belgium.svg
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Madame

Princess Marie-Christine of Belgium, Mrs Gourgues (Marie-Christine Daphné Astrid Elisabeth Léopoldine; born 6 February 1951) is a half-sister of the late King Baudouin, the retired King Albert II and aunt of King Philippe of Belgium.

Life[edit]

Princess Marie-Christine father was King Leopold III, and her mother was his second wife, Lilian Baels. Lilian was never recognized as queen, but she and her children, including Marie-Christine, received the style of Royal Highness and Prince(ss) of Belgium.

Marie-Christine was born in Laeken, Belgium. Her godparents were her half-brother King Baudouin and Infanta María Cristina of Spain.

Marie-Christine was named after her godmother, her father popular first wife, her paternal grandmother, and her father.

Her full siblings are the late Prince Alexandre of Belgium and Princess Marie-Esméralda of Belgium. Her half-siblings include the late King Baudouin of Belgium, Belgium's former monarch King Albert II, and the late Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg.

During Princess Marie-Christine's childhood, magazines reported that she was musically talented and that her grandmother, Queen Elisabeth, encouraged her in this interest.

On 9 May 1962, she received her solemn holy communion and confirmation, officiated by Bishop Fulton Sheen.[1]

Her first marriage, to Paul Drucker (1 November 1937 – 1 April 2008) in Coral Gables, Florida, on 23 May 1981, lasted 40 days (though they weren't formally divorced till 1985); she subsequently married Jean-Paul Gourgues, a French restaurateur, in Westwood, California, on 28 September 1989. American actor James Coburn was best man in her wedding to Jean-Paul Gourgues. Princess Marie-Christine worked as an actress in Los Angeles using her third name "Daphné". Marie-Christine and her husband live in Washington.

Over the years, Marie-Christine has moved to different places, such Toronto, Las Vegas and San Diego.

She is a controversial person in Belgium. The Princess in the past claimed to have been raped as a teenager and beaten by her mother. She has lived a jet-set life but in recent years has said she spent away her entire inheritance. When she was a guest in a Belgian Embassy abroad, Marie-Christine refused to drink to her half-brother Baudouin saying "He is not my king". In 1993, when Baudouin died, she did not attend the funeral. On 17 April 2007, in a rare interview, she said "abolishing the monarchy might prove to be of benefit to Belgium".[2] The princess did not attend the funeral of her brother Alexandre in December 2009.

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 6 February 1951 – 23 May 1981: Her Royal Highness Princess Marie-Christine of Belgium
  • 23 May 1981 – 28 September 1989: Her Royal Highness Princess Marie-Christine of Belgium, Mrs Druker
  • 28 September 1989 – present: Her Royal Highness Princess Marie-Christine of Belgium, Mrs Gourgues

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2011-05-24.
  2. ^ Belgian weekly interview with Princess Marie-Christine of Belgium, published in Dutch only "Abolishing the monarchy might prove to be of benefit to Belgium" Humo, Brussels, 17 April 2007.