Monday, December 2, 2013

Belgian heir would like to be master of a tramp steamer

December 2, 1933

Crown Prince Leopold of the Belgians is "so fond of travel and adventure that he finds routine work rather irksome," reports the New York Times.

The 37-year old heir to the throne is married to Princess Astrid of Sweden.  He has one brother, Prince Charles, and his only sister, Marie José, is the wife of Crown Prince Umberto of Italy.  His official duties are "almost as arduous as those of the Prince of Wales."

If he had not been "destined for a throne,"  Prince Leopold once said he would have chosen to be a "master of a tramp steamer that journeyed the world over."

Leopold has traveled to Africa twice, and "studied conditions in the Belgian Congo."   His English is said to be "perfect."  In the first years of his marriage,  Prince Leopold did not speak English, and Princess Astrid spoke only a little French, so they "made English their common tongue."

1 comment:

emily said...

Roger Keys' book on Leopold says that both Leopold and Astrid spoke English when they met. As this was their only common language, it is how they communicated during their courtship. Perhaps Astrid was more fluent than Leopold at that time.

I'm surprised that French wasn't part of Astrid's education - I thought that was pretty standard for royal and noble women at the time.