Thursday, February 6, 2014

Royal Profile: Princess Marie-Christine of Belgium

Princess Marie-Christine Daphné Astrid Elisabeth Léopoldine of Belgium was born 6 February 1951 as the daughter of  King Leopold III of the Belgians, and his second wife, Lilian Baels{Source}. She has four older siblings-two half brothers and a half-sister, a brother and a younger sister{Source}:
  • Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte of Belgium (1927-2005, half sister)
  • King Baudouin I of Belgium (1930-1993, half-brother)
  • King Albert II of Belgium (1934, half-brother)
  • Prince Alexander of Belgium (1942-2009, full brother)
  • Princess Marie-Esmeralda of Belgium (1956-, full sister)
Her godparents were her elder brother King Baudouin and Infanta Maria Cristina of Spain.

Over the years, she has been known as the "Controversial one" and has made several claims against her own family. As a teen, she claimed that she had been raped and was beaten by her own mother. When she was a guest in a Belgian Embassy abroad, Marie-Christine refused to drink to her half-brother Baudouin saying "He is not my king" {Source}. In 1993, when Baudouin died, she did not attend the funeral. On 17 April 2007, in a rare interview, she said "abolishing the monarchy might prove to be of benefit to Belgium"{Source}.The princess did not attend the funeral of her brother Alexander in December 2009.

She has been married several times. Her first marriage was to Paul Drucker in 1981, which only lasted 40 days, but they were not formally divorced until 1985 {Source}. She married a second time to Jean-Paul Gourges in 1989{Source}

She has done some work as an actress, under her third name, Daphné {Source}. She presently resides in California. Unlike her eldest siblings-Grand Duchess Joesphine-Charlotte, King Baudouin, and King Albert, she is not in line for the Belgian throne and does not have succession rights. As her sister-in-law and widow of her brother Prince Alexander explains it as that her husband and siblings, being from a second marriage, were not formally given succession rights.

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