|King of the Belgians|
|Reign||17 December 1865 – 17 December 1909|
9 April 1835|
Royal Palace, Brussels, Belgium
|Died||17 December 1909
Royal Palace, Laeken, Belgium
|Spouse||Marie Henriette of Austria|
|Issue||Louise Marie, Princess of Kohary
Prince Leopold, Duke of Brabant
Stéphanie, Crown Princess of Austria
Clémentine, Princess Napoléon
|House||House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha|
|Mother||Louise of Orléans|
Leopold II (Léopold Louis Philippe Marie Victor) (9 April 1835 – 17 December 1909) was King of the Belgians. Born in Brussels the second (but oldest surviving) son of Leopold I and Louise of Orléans. He succeeded his father to the throne on 17 December 1865 and was king until his death.
Leopold is mainly remembered as the founder and sole owner of the Congo Free State. He lay claim to the Congo, an area now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He treated the people badly in order to make money. His harsh rule was responsible for the death of between five to 15 million Congo people. The Congo became one of the most infamous international scandals of the early 20th century. Leopold was forced to give control of it to the government of Belgium.
Leopold II married Archduchess Marie Henriette of Austria, in Brussels on 22 August 1853.
Leopold II had a wedding ceremony with Caroline Lacroix, on 14 December 1909, five days before his death. This was not legal under Belgian law.
He was succeeded as King of the Belgians by his nephew Albert, son of his brother Philippe.
Titles and styles
- 9 April 1835 – 17 December 1865 His Royal Highness The Duke of Brabant, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Duke in Saxony.
- 17 December 1865 – 17 December 1909 His Majesty The King of The Belgians. Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duke in Saxony.
Images for kids
The triumphal arch of the Cinquantenaire complex in Brussels
Monument in Arlon (Belgium)."I have undertaken the work in the Congo in the interest of civilization and for the good of Belgium."
Leopold II with the coat of arms of the Belgian Congo. Ghent, Belgium.
Caricature of Leopold II. The caption reads: A constitutional king.
Equestrian statue of Leopold II, Regent place, Brussels.
Leopold II of Belgium Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.