In 1795 -- Leopold was only a toddler -- he was appointed colonel of the Izmailovski Imperial Regiment by the Russian czar. Seven years later he became a general. When the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg was occupied by Napoleonic troops in 1806 he went to Paris. Napoleon offered him the position of adjutant, but he refused. Instead he succeeded his brother as head of the Duchy. Afterwards he campaigned against Napoleon. In 1815 Leopold was appointed field-marshal.
On May 2, 1816, he married Princess Charlotte Augusta, (1796-1817; the only legitimate child of the Prince Regent (later King George IV) and therefore heiress to the English throne. On November 5, 1817, Princess Charlotte gave birth to a stillborn son; she died the following day.
Later he helped his nephews ascend the thrones of Britain and Portugal, and he was a main advisor to his niece, Queen Victoria.
In 1830 Leopold was offered the Greek crown, but he refused it. After Belgium asserted its independence from the Netherlands on October 4, 1830, the Belgian National Congress[?] asked Leopold to become king of the newly formed country. He accepted and became King of the Belgians on June 26, 1831. His inauguration took place in the Royal Palace in Brussels on July 21, 1831. This day became a Belgian national holiday.
Less than two weeks later, on August 2, the Netherlands invaded Belgium. Skirmishes continued for eight years, but in 1839 the two countries signed a treaty establishing Belgium's independence.
Leopold and Louise had four children:
|List of Belgian monarchs||