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Belgium mourns the death of close royal family member

By Ministério da Cultura - Assinatura do Acordo para realização Europalia- Brasil na Embaixada da Bélgica em Brasília, CC BY 2.0, Wiki Commons

The Belgian royal family is in mourning. A close royal family member of the Belgian royal family passed away on Monday. Her Imperial & Royal Highness, Princess Margherita of Savoy-Aosta, Archduchess of Austria-Este, died on Monday, aged 91. She is best known as the mother of Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este, making her the mother-in-law of Princess Astrid of Belgium.

Prince Lorenz of Belgium was born in France as the second child of Robert, Archduke of Austria-Este and his wife, Princess Margaret of Savoy-Aosta. He is the grandson of Charles I of Austria, the last Emperor of Austria.

Princess Margherita of Savoy-Aosta was born in Naples on 4 April 1930, as the eldest of the two daughters of Prince Amedeo of Savoy, Duke of Aosta and Princess Anne of Orléans. Her father was the viceroy of Ethiopia and commanded the Italian troops against the British in East Africa. He died as a prisoner of war in 1942. On 28 December 1953, Princess Margherita married Archduke Robert of Austria-Este, the second oldest son of the last Austrian ruler, Emperor Charles I. The couple had five children, of whom the eldest son, Lorenz, married Princess Astrid of Belgium in 1984, and he was created a Prince of Belgium in 1995.

Among their grandchildren is Countess Olympia von und zu Arco-Zinneberg, now the Princess Napoléon following her marriage to the head of the former imperial house of France. The last time Princess Margherita, a widow since 1996, was seen in public was at the wedding of her grandson, Prince Amedeo of Belgium, to Elisabetta Maria Rosboch von Wolkenstein in Rome in July 2014.

The Belgian royal family has not issued an official statement since the death was announced. It is nevertheless expected that the Belgian royal family will be represented at the princess’ funeral. It was not announced when the funeral will take place, but royals from Belgium, Austria, Italy and France are expected to attend.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.