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On this date in History: February 23, 1934. Death of King Albert I of the Belgians and succession of his son as King Leopold III of the Belgians.

Also on this date King Leopold III of the Belgians takes the constitutional oath before a joint session of parliament.

Seated on his left: Queen Astrid, Prince Baudouin (the future King) and Princess Joséphine-Charlotte (the future Grand Duchess of Luxembourg).

Leopold III was born in Brussels and succeeded to the throne of Belgium on February 23, 1934, following the death of his father King Albert I.

Albert I, King of the Belgians

Leopold III reigned as the King of the Belgians from 1934 until 1951, when he abdicated in favour of the heir apparent, his son Baudouin. From 1944 until 1950, Leopold’s brother, Charles, served as prince regent while Leopold was declared unable to reign. Leopold’s controversial actions during the Second World War resulted in a political crisis known as the Royal Question.

Leopold III, King of the Belgians.

In 1950, the debate about whether Leopold could resume his royal functions escalated. Following a referendum, Leopold was allowed to return from exile to Belgium, but the continuing political instability pressured him to abdicate in 1951. Leopold III died September 25, 1983, aged 81.