February 19, 1898
It was announced that Prince Albert, heir to the Belgian throne, will be paying a "full, formal and prolonged visit" to the United States, reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.
This will be the first visit to the United States since 1860 when the Prince of Wales, traveling as Baron Renfrew.
The heir to the British throne did not "travel in royal state," during his visit. Prince Albert knows it will be impossible to hide his royal rank. He will "submit to all the ceremony and publicity" during his visit to "this great republic.
He will "virtually be the guest of the nation. The President will assign an army officer to escort him.
The 22-year-old Prince is unmarried. He is the only son of the Count of Flanders, and the nephew of King Leopold II.
King Leopold has no son, and his daughters cannot succeed to the throne. The Count of Flanders is only two years younger than his brother, and "will not occupy the throne long before leaving it to his son."
Brussels is said to be a "gay place." Belgium's watering places are said to "be even more gay." Neither King Leopold nor his brother have not shown "austere self-denial in the face of the temptations that have confronted them."
The "domestic relations" between the two brothers and their families are said to be "not entirely happy." Leopold's daughter, Louise, married to Prince Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotham recently ran off with an army office.
Prince Albert became second in line to the throne in 1891 following the death of his elder brother, Prince Baudouin, who was "shot and killed in the Avenue Louise in Brussels." He was involved in a duel over a woman.
Belgian authorities tried unsuccessfully to "suppress every fact" concerning the shooting. A recent report has made the "tragedy to be of a peculiarly horrible character."
If his older brother had not died, Prince Albert would have "devoted himself" to a military career, but as heir, his "plans must be changed."
The "fair-haired" prince is said to be "extremely popular" in Belgium. He will inherit a large personal fortune, properties, castles and an impressive art collection.
He is also said to be "uncommonly virtuous" in contrast to the "illustrations of the wages of sin" among members of his family.