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Prince Leopold of Belgium, Duke of Brabant (born Léopold Ferdinand Élie Victor Albert Marie (French) or Leopold Ferdinand Elias Victor Albert Marie (Dutch) on 12 June 1859 in Laekenmarker – died 22 January 1869 in Laekenmarker or Brusselsmarker), was the second child and only son and heir of Leopold II of Belgium and his wife, Archduchess Marie Henriette of Austria.

Leopold was named for grandfather, and for his father's cousins, Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert, the Prince Consort.

Early life

At birth, Leopold was styled Count of Hainaut, as the eldest son of the then crown prince. At the time of his birth, his grandfather, Leopold I of Belgium, formerly a Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was the reigning king of Belgium.

Leopold was preceded in birth by one sister, Louise-Marie, and followed by two more sisters, Stéphanie, and Clémentine, who was born after Leopold's death, their parents' last hope for another son.

Duke of Brabant

Upon the death of his grandfather and the ascension of his father to the throne in 1865, young Leopold became Duke of Brabant, the title for the heir-apparent to the Belgian throne. As heir-apparent, he was expected to eventually succeed his father as King Leopold III of the Belgians.

Death

Leopold died at Laekenmarker or Brusselsmarker on 22 January 1869 from pneumonia, after falling into a pond. At his son's funeral, Leopold II, for the only time in his life, "broke down in public, collapsing to his knees beside the coffin and sobbing uncontrollably." Leopold's body was interred at the royal vault at the Church of Our Lady, Laeken Cemetery in Brusselsmarker.

Leopold's premature death left his father without a direct heir, with only two daughters remaining: Princess Louise-Marie and Princess Stéphanie. After their son's death, Leopold and Marie Henriette tried to have another child, hoping for a son. After the birth of yet another daughter, Clémentine, in 1872, the couple abandoned all hopes of ever having another son.

Upon his death, Leopold II was succeeded by his nephew, Albert, whose eldest son would later succeed him as Leopold III.

Titles

  • His Royal Highness Prince Leopold of Belgium, Count of Hainaut, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1859-1865)
  • His Royal Highness Leopold, Duke of Brabant, Prince of Belgium (1865-1869)


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