Astrid of Sweden bigraphy, stories - Religion

Astrid of Sweden : biography

17 November 1905 - 29 August 1935

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Princess Astrid of Sweden, born Astrid Sofia Lovisa Thyra (17 November 1905 – 29 August 1935) was Queen of the Belgians as the wife of King Leopold III. Her youngest son, Albert is the current King of the Belgians. She is the aunt of the current King of Norway and the grandmother of the current Grand Duke of Luxemburg.


At an evening ball, Astrid, a Swedish princess, danced all night with Leopold of Belgium. And as the night progressed, Leopold and Astrid never left each other's side. Some months later, King Albert I and Queen Elisabeth of Belgium invited the press to the royal palace in Brussels. "The Queen and I, declared Albert, would like to announce to you the impending marriage between Prince Leopold, Duke of Brabant and the Princess Astrid of Sweden. We are convinced that the princess will bring joy and happiness to our son. Leopold and Astrid have decided to join their lives without any pressures or reasons of state. Theirs is a true union among people with the same inclinations." Queen Elisabeth, incorrigible romantic that she was, insisted in saying "It is a marriage of love...tell it to our people. Nothing was arranged. Not a single political consideration prevailed in our son's decision."

In Stockholm, on 4 November 1926 civilly and religiously in Brussels on 10 November, Princess Astrid married Crown Prince Leopold of Belgium, the son of King Albert I of Belgium and his wife, Queen Elisabeth, born Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria. It was a happy and devoted marriage. Astrid was enthusiastically adopted by the Belgians. She was widely loved for her beauty, charm and simplicity.Her public and official engagements irradiated enthusiasm. Leopold was her most fervent admirer. The love shared by the young couple was evident to all. In more than one occasion people could see them holding hands, even during official engagements. In 1927, Leopold and Astrid had a daughter, Princess Joséphine-Charlotte,In 1930, the Belgian press gave extensive coverage to the birth of the long awaited royal heir. Leopold was on his way to visit some areas away from Brussels when the Duchess of Brabant went into labor. The royal palace immediately sent him a telegram that reached Leopold at a stop during his journey. The royal palace's message announced the impending birth of the couple's second child. Without thinking twice about the day's engagements, Leopold returned to Brussels immediately. Prince Leopold and King Albert walked anxiously in the garden at Stuyvenberg Palace while the Duchess of Brabant began her labor. Next to Astrid were her mother, Ingeborg of Denmark, duchess of Västergötland, and her mother-in-law Queen Elisabeth. At 4:15 pm the royal physicians proudly announced the healthy birth of a little prince. The sound of cannon silenced the general happiness expressed by the people of Brussels. Their first son, Prince Baudouin eventually succeeded his father as King of the Belgians. He was given the name of Baudouin in memory of his deceased great-uncle who was supposed to have been king.

Princess Astrid was given a tiara as a wedding gift from Belgian government, created by Belgian jeweler Van Bever, the original version of the diadem is a flexible diamond bandeau in a stylized Greek key motif topped with 11 large diamonds on spikes. These large stones, totaling around 100 carats on their own, symbolize the nine provinces of Belgium and the (now former) Belgian colony of the Congo. She later added a set of diamond arches to enclose each of the 11 independent stones. After Astrid’s death the tiara was in the possession of King Leopold, and his second wife Princess Lilian wore parts of the tiara but not the full gem (Lilian never held the title of Queen). Leopold abdicated the throne in favor of his son Baudouin; when Baudouin married, Leopold gave the tiara to the new queen. Fabiola, Belgium’s first queen since Astrid, wore it on her wedding day. She handed the jewel over after Baudouin’s death and it is now worn by Queen Paola.

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