Astrid of Sweden (1905–1935)

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Astrid of Sweden (1905–1935)

Queen of the Belgians . Name variations: Astrid Bernadotte; Astrid of Belgium. Born Astrid Sofia Lovisa Thyra Bernadotte, princess of Sweden, on November 17, 1905, in Sweden; died in an automobile accident on August 29, 1935, near Küssnacht, Switzerland; buried in Laeken, Brussels, Belgium; daughter of Charles of Sweden and Ingeborg of Denmark(1878–1958); married Leopold III (b. 1901), king of the Belgians, on November 4, 1926; children: Baudoin (1930–1993), king of the Belgians; Albert II (b. 1934), king of the Belgians; Josephine-Charlotte of Belgium (b. 1927).

Astrid of Sweden was already a princess when she married Prince Leopold III of Belgium in 1926. Since her mother Ingeborg of Denmark was a sister of the king of Sweden, she had led a royal life. Among the people of Belgium, however, Astrid was known as the kind who did her own shopping, willingly stopped to talk with people on the streets, and did not put on airs. She had three children with Leopold. In 1934, she assumed the title of queen when her husband ascended the throne, but their royal glow was short-lived. On August 29, 1935, while driving in Switzerland with Leopold at the wheel, the king and queen were in an accident, which Astrid did not survive. Leopold, though badly injured, lived. Six years later, when he remarried, the people of Belgium were unwelcoming to their new queen, Liliane Baels , who was unable to win the hearts of those still devoted to Queen Astrid. During the German occupation of Belgium in the 1940s, Leopold temporarily lost his throne. Though he resumed it in 1950, public support waned, in part due to Leopold's less charming second wife. He abdicated in 1951.


Arango, E. Ramón. Leopold III & the Belgian Royal Question. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins Press, 1961.

Crista Martin , Boston, Massachusetts