- Albert I
- (1875-1934)Albert Leopold Clement Marie Meinrad, the third king of the Belgians, was born in Brussels on 8 April 1875, the second son of Prince Philippe, the count of Flanders, and Maria von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. He succeeded to the throne on Leopold II's death (23 December 1909). The first monarch to take the constitutional oath in both French and Dutch, Albert was popularly dubbed the "hero king" and the "knight king" for his role in rallying Belgian resistance to the German invasion in World War I. He spent the war at the head of the army and led the Allied offensive that recovered the Belgian coast in 1918. The monarch received a tumultuous welcome on his return to Brussels on 22 November 1918. A proponent of social reform and a calm, steadfast, and unostentatious ruler, Albert proved immensely popular. The king died in a fall during an outing at Marche-les-Dames on 17 February 1934. His funeral in Brussels saw many millions in attendance. A statue of the king stands in the Albertine gardens.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.