Leopold III of Belgium, 1935
Leopold III of Belgium, 1935
Leopold III of Belgium, 1935
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Leopold III of Belgium, 1935

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Overall: 37cm (14.5in) x 27cm (10.5in) 

Half length oval portrait of Leopold as a Royal Offiicer of the Belgian Grenadiers. Signed in the King’s hand and inscribed Baute Bruxelles. Framed and glazed.

Leopold III (1901-1983) was King of the Belgians from 1934 until 1951. On the outbreak of the Second World War Leopold tried to maintain Belgian neutrality, but after the German invasion in May 1940, he surrendered his country, earning him much hostility, both at home and abroad. This act was declared unconstitutional by the government which went into exile in London. Leopold and his family were placed under house arrest. In 1944, they were moved to Germany and then Austria, before being liberated by the Americans. Leopold's eventual return to his homeland in 1950 nearly caused a civil war, and under pressure from the government, he abdicated in favour of his son, Prince Baudouin, in July 1951.