The Belgian Royal Court this evening announced the sudden death of Prince Alexandre, King Albert II’s half-brother, from an acute pulmonary embolism.
His Royal Highness Prince Alexandre Emmanuel Henri Albert Marie Léopold of Belgium was born on 18 July 1942 as the eldest child of the controversial union between King Léopold III and Lilian Baels. King Léopold, who had been widowed in 1935 when the adored Queen Astrid was killed in a car crash, married Lilian Baels in 1941 while held captive by the Germans after he had refused to follow his government into exile. These actions eventually led to the King’s abdication in 1951.
Prince Alexandre, a businessman who was not in line to the Belgian throne, married Léa Wolman in 1991, but the marriage was kept secret until 1998. The couple had no children, although the Princess has two children and a grandson from her previous marriages.