Leopold I, King Of The Belgians, On His Second Wife

On 9th August, Leopold I, King of the Belgians and Queen Victoria’s maternal uncle, married Louise Marie, Princess of Orleans, daughter of King Louis Philippe of France. A few weeks later, Leopold wrote about Louise to his niece:

Laeken,10 31st August 1832

My dearest Love,—You told me you wished to have a description of your new Aunt. I therefore shall both mentally and physically describe her to you.

She is extremely gentle and amiable, her actions are always guided by principles. She is at all times ready and disposed to sacrifice her comfort and inclinations to see others happy. She values goodness, merit, and virtue much more than beauty, riches, and amusements. With all this she is highly informed and very clever; she speaks and writes English, German and Italian; she speaks English very well indeed. In short, my dear Love, you see that I may well recommend her as an example for all young ladies, being Princesses or not.

Now to her appearance. She is about Feodore’s* height, her hair very fair, light blue eyes, of a very gentle, intelligent and kind expression. A Bourbon nose and small mouth. The figure is much like Feodore’s but rather less stout. She rides very well, which she proved to my great alarm the other day, by keeping her seat though a horse of mine ran away with her full speed for at least half a mile. What she does particularly well is dancing. Music unfortunately she is not very fond of, though she plays on the harp; I believe there is some idleness in the case. There exists already great confidence and affection between us; she is desirous of doing everything that can contribute to my happiness, and I study whatever can make her happy and contented.

You will see by these descriptions that though my good little wife is not the tallest Queen, she is a very great prize which I highly value and cherish….

Now it is time I should finish my letter. Say everything that is kind to good Lehzen, and believe me ever, my dearest Love, your faithful Friend and Uncle,

Leopold R

*Victoriaìs half-sister

Further reading:
The Letters of Queen Victoria, Volume 1 (of 3)

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