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King Leopold I

On 16 December, in Coburg, Bavaria, birth of Leopold, Georges, Chrétien, Frédéric, son of His Ducal Highness François, reigning Duke of Saxe-Cobourg Saalfeld.

Leopold was appointed by the Russian Czar as Colonel of the Ismailovski Regiment of the Imperial Guard. He became a general seven years later.

The Duchy was occupied by Napoleon's troops. Leopold stayed in Paris and became a familiar figure at the Imperial Court. The Emperor wanted to make him an Aide de Camp. Leopold refused. He would then participate in the campaigns against Napoleon.

Leopold acquired British nationality, was made a Field Marshal, and married Princess Charlotte, heir to the British throne. A year later, she would give birth to a stillborn child, before dying herself.

Leopold refused the crown of Greece.

On 21 July, he took the oath as the first King of the Belgians He devoted most of his reign to consolidating the young state.

On 2 August, the Dutch army invaded Belgium. The intervention of the Great Powers saved the new state. Its status was reduced, particularly by annexation of some of its territory and the obligation to pay a toll to the Netherlands for ships to sail on the Scheldt. (Treaty of the 24 Articles)

On 9 August, Leopold married Louise-Marie, daughter of Louis-Philippe, King of the French.

Inauguration of the first railway line (Brussels-Malines) in continental Europe. This was the culmination of a project on which the King had been working since 1832.

Leopold attempted to obtain legislation on the labour of women and children. But the time was not ripe.

A Republican revolution removed Louis-Philippe from the throne of France. Its repercussions were felt throughout Europe, but spared Belgium, largely due to the diplomatic action of the King.

On 11 October, Queen Louise-Marie died.

On 10 December, death of King Leopold.