Leopoldo Prince of Salerno
- Category : Notable-Famous-Royal-family
- Type : PSE
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Tension 2
Belgian royalty. Leopold I of Saxe Coburg-Gotha was the first king of Belgium, and he was instrumental in strengthening the nation’s parliamentary system. Sometimes referred to as the "Nestor of Europe," Leopold was a leading figure in European diplomacy and worked scrupulously to maintain Belgian neutrality.
The fourth son of Francis, duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Leopold entered the military service of Russia when he was 18 years old. In 1813, he accepted the post of cavalry general from Alexander I, and he fought in the major battles during 1813-14. He was offered the crown of the new Greek kingdom in 1830 but turned it down. Then in 1831, he was elected king of the Belgians and began working to improve the country’s army. In 1836, he granted more political autonomy to the large towns and rural areas of his country, and until 1839, he worked to maintain a Liberal-Christian coalition that expanded the education system. With the growing power of Napoleon III and Otto von Bismarck of Prussia, Leopold’s influence declined.
While accompanying the czar on a trip to England, he met Princess Charlotte, heiress-presumptive to the British throne, and they were married in May 1816. After her death in 1817 during childbirth, he remained in London. In 1832, he married Marie-Louise of Orléans, daughter of the French king Louis-Philippe. He had children from his second marriage. His daughter, Carlota, married Maximilian, archduke of Austria, a marriage that Leopold negotiated as part of his ongoing effort to strengthen ties with France, England and Austria, and his son was Leopold Louis Philippe Marie Victor, who was king of Belgium from 1865-1909.
Leopold died 12/10/1865, 11:45 AM, Laeken, Belgium.