LTopold III file photo [835]

Leopold III

Given NameLeopold
HouseSaxe-Coburg and Gotha
Born3 Nov 1901
Died25 Sep 1983


ww2dbaseBorn Leopold Philippe Charles Albert Meinrad Hubertus Marie Miguel in Brussels, Leopold III was crowned King of Belgium on 23 Feb 1934. The WW1 veteran of the 12th Belgian Regiment very briefly attempted to resist the invading German troops in May 1940 before he surrendered. The Belgian people, who thought their King had given up too quickly, accused him of treason, but Leopold III tried proved the accusers wrong by refusing to obey Nazi policies. London, however, never recognized his right to rule. During the winter of 1944 to 1945, he and the royal family were placed under arrest on Heinrich Himmler's orders and they were not freed until May 1945 when the American troops reached the last location of their captivity, Strobl, Austria. He spent the next six years in exile in Switzerland due to the accusations of him being a German collaborator. In 1950, a referendum showed a slight majority of Belgians favoring his return, but upon his return he realized the nation was deeply divided over his rule. On the verge of a civil war within Belgium, Leopold III abdicated on 16 Jul 1951 and passed the crown to his son Baudouin.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jun 2006

Leopold III Timeline

3 Nov 1901 Prince Leopold of Belgium, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was born in Brussels, Belgium.
4 Nov 1926 Prince Leopold of Belgium married Princess Astrid of Sweden in a civil ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden.
17 Feb 1934 King Albert I of Belgium died in a mountaineering accident. He would be succeeded by his son, Prince Leopold.
23 Feb 1934 Leopold III became the King of Belgium.
24 May 1940 King Leopold III assumed command of the Belgian Army.
27 May 1940 King Leopold III of Belgium offered surrender terms to Germany and decided to remain in the country. Germany responded at 2200 hours, demanding an unconditional surrender.
11 Sep 1941 King Leopold III of Belgium, whilst a prisoner of the Germans, secretly married London-born Lilian Baels. As this had no validity under Belgian law a second ceremony was conducted on 6 Dec 1941.
6 Dec 1941 The official wedding ceremony between King Leopold III of Belgium and Lilian Baels was held; they had already secretly wed on 11 Sep 1941.
15 Jul 1945 King Leopold of Belgium again refused to abdicate.
20 Jul 1945 Achille Van Acker recommended abdication for King Leopold III of Belgium.
16 Jul 1951 King Leopold of Belgium abdicated. He was succeeded by his son, Prince Baudouin.
25 Sep 1983 Leopold III passed away.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Talkashie says:
6 Feb 2014 06:49:36 AM

"King Albert I or Belgium died in a mountaineering accident. He would be succeeded by his son, Prince Leopold."

Should change 'or' to 'of'
2. Commenter identity confirmed C. Peter Chen says:
6 Feb 2014 07:06:35 AM

Thank you Talkashie, the typographical error has been corrected.

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» No. 128-133: King LĂ©opold III's Appeal for Peace and Responses
» No. 134-138: Belgian-Dutch Joint Mediation Attempt

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