Belgian Royalty: Albert I's Children's Clothes Conventions

Figure 1.--Prince Leopold in this charming familt photograph plays the vilolin with his mother. This rather suggests that sailor suits were worn as everyday clothes. The text reads, " La Reine donnant une lešon au Duc de Brabant; Ó leurs cotÚs le Roi. " This translates as, "The Queen is giving a lesson to the Duke of Brabant, at the side the King." Notice how the royal family is depicting itself as a normal middle-class family.

Most of the available photograph's of King Albert's and Queen Elizabeth's childre are formal portraits. We do not note the kind of informal snapshots that would give us a view of the children when they were not done up for a formal portrait. We have very few images as to how the children were normally dressed in the nursery are around the palace. We do not know, for example, if the boys wore smocks or other play clothes. I supose it is popular that the children wore rather formal clothes, even for play, but we suspect that other outfits were involved. We think that sailor suits may have been an outfit that was worn both as ordinary every day clothes and for dressing up. We note one charming image of Leoplold in a study accompamying his mother on the violin with King Albert listening. The sailor suit he is wearing may well have been an everyday outfit.


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Created: May 15, 2002
Last updated: 7:30 PM 4/29/2009