Leopold II of Belgium reigned over Belgium as its second king from 1865 to 1909. He also owned the Independent State of the Congo from 1885 to 1908. Congolese people were subjected to torture and murder under Leopold's administration; the term crimes against humanity was coined by George Washington Williams in 1890 to describe the atrocities of Leopold's administration.
Philip the Handsome, son of Roman emperor Maximilian I, served as the Duke of Burgundy from 1482 to 1506 and then as the first Habsburg King of Castile, as Philip I, in 1506. Also known as the Fair, Philip died of typhoid fever in September 1506, although many suspected poisoning.
Albert I of Belgium ruled as King of the Belgians for over 25 years from 1909 to 1934. He played a crucial role during World War I, for which he is often referred to as the Soldier King or Knight King in Belgium. A renowned alpinist, Albert died in a mountaineering accident and his death was mourned around the world.
Belgian king Leopold III was despised by his countrymen for surrendering Belgium to the Germans during World War II. After being imprisoned by the Germans near Brussels, he went to Austria, and went back to Belgium later, only to be faced by a civil war that forced him to abdicate.
The elder son of King Leopold III of Belgium, Baudouin ruled Belgium for over 4 decades. He is remembered for his impartial treatment of both the Flemish- and French-speaking Belgian factions. He also served as the sovereign of the Belgian Congo and later supported Congolese independence.
Clovis I, regarded as the founder of the Merovingian dynasty, united the Frankish tribes under one leader and thus transformed the leadership system which had previously been based on leadership by a group of chieftains. His conversion to Catholicism led to widespread conversion among the Frankish people.
Philippe of Belgium is the King of the Belgians who succeeded his father King Albert II after the latter's abdication on 21 July 2013 due to health reasons. In 2014, Philippe helped form a coalition government after the Belgian federal election.
Albert II of Belgium reigned as the King of the Belgians from 1993 until his abdication in 2013. He abdicated in favor of his eldest son Philippe due to health reasons. During his reign, Albert represented Belgium at high level international meetings. He also established the Prince Albert Foundation in 1984 to promote competence in foreign trade.
Carlota of Mexico served as the Empress consort of Mexico from 10 April 1864 to 15 May 1867. Her husband Maximilian I of Mexico died at the age of 34 and their relationship has inspired many movies, plays, TV series, and novels.
Mathilde, the present Queen consort of the Belgians, became the first native-born queen in the history of Belgium after her husband Prince Philippe, Duke of Brabant ascended to the throne of Belgium in July 2013. Their eldest child, Princess Elisabeth, is the heir apparent to the Belgian throne. The queen has founded and helped charities to reduce poverty in Belgium.
Philip III reigned as the Duke of Burgundy from 10 September 1419 until his death on 15 June 1467. The Burgundian State, under his rule, reached the peak of its prosperity. Philip III is best remembered for his administrative reforms. He is also remembered for capturing Joan of Arc, who was then ransomed to the English.
Godfrey of Bouillon was a French nobleman and a prominent leader of the First Crusade. He ruled the Kingdom of Jerusalem from 1099 to 1100. He was the son of Eustace II, Count of Boulogne, and Ida, a noblewoman. He joined the First Crusade in 1096 and played a key role in the successful Siege of Jerusalem in 1099.
Princess Stéphanie of Belgium became the Crown Princess of Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia after her marriage to Crown Prince Rudolf, the son of Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I. Following the death of her husband and his mistress in a suicide-murder pact, she married a Hungarian nobleman.
Merovech reigned as the King of the Salian Franks from 450 to 458 AD. The Salians later became the famous Frankish tribe and are credited with founding the Merovingian dynasty. His grandson Clovis I is credited with founding the Frankish kingdom, from which France and Germany were born.
Philip II the Bold reigned as the Duke of Burgundy from 1363 until his death on 27 April 1404. He is credited with founding the House of Valois' Burgundian branch. Philip II is best remembered for playing a key role in the advancement of gunpowder artillery as he used them extensively and successfully during his military campaigns.
Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders was the son of King Leopold I of Belgium. Although he was the heir presumptive to the royal Belgian throne, Philippe refused to be named the new Romanian sovereign when Alexandru Ioan Cuza stepped down as the domnitor of the Romanian Principalities in 1866. In 1909, his son Albert I ascended the Belgian throne.
Prince Laurent of Belgium is the youngest son of King Albert II and the younger brother of the current King of the Belgians, Philippe of Belgium. Currently, he is 13th out of the sixteen people in the Belgian line of succession. Prince Laurent of Belgium is best known as an ardent advocate of environment and animal welfare.
Ambiorix reigned as the King of the Belgae. Today, he is widely regarded as a national hero in Belgium due to his resistance against the famous Roman general Julius Caesar. Ambiorix is mentioned in Commentarii de Bello Gallico, Caesar's account of the Gallic Wars. Ambiorix's character is portrayed in the popular video game Civilization VI.
Known as the May Queen for her 34-day stint as the queen of Italy, Queen Maria José of Savoy was the wife of Umberto II, the last Italian king. Following the fall of the monarchy, she went into exile in Switzerland. She also penned several books and worked for the Red Cross.
Prince Carl Bernadotte was the son of Princess Ingeborg of Denmark and Prince Carl of Sweden. Better known as Carl Junior, Prince Carl Bernadotte is best remembered for his involvement in the infamous Huseby scandal, which garnered a great deal of publicity. After the trial, Carl left Sweden and moved to Spain where he spent the rest of his life.
Prince Baudouin of Belgium was the son of Prince Philippe of Belgium, Count of Flanders. He is also known as the older brother of Albert I of Belgium, who went on to become King of the Belgians in 1909. Albert I became heir presumptive after the untimely death of Prince Baudouin of Belgium at the age of 21.
Philippe, Duke of Brabant reigned as the Count of Ligny and Saint-Pol from 25 October 1415 to 4 August 1430. He is best known as the son of Antoine, Duke of Brabant, and succeeded his older brother, John IV, as Duke of Brabant.