Stéphane Bern is going to Belgium for an issue of Secrets d’Histoire dedicated to Elisabeth, the wife of King Albert I. Meeting with an extraordinary sovereign.

In his own words, Stéphane Bern is going “for the first time” to Belgium for Secrets d’Histoire. Hard to believe the host waited so long to introduce this surprising queen. Through the portrait that the France 3 magazine paints of her, a woman emerges in love with freedom, modernity and far from the classic image of a sovereign. An unpublished number from which several astonishing information comes out.

Elisabeth has the same first name as her aunt and godmother, Sissi. The child is the daughter of the famous queen’s brother. During her visits to their homes, Sissi enjoys spending time with her niece and will be one of the little girl’s sources of inspiration.

Elisabeth grew up in the heart of Bavaria in an amazing family for the time. His father is an ophthalmologist, which is hardly conceivable for an aristocrat at that time. Driven by deep humanist values, he treats everyone, even for free, for those who cannot afford to pay him. The young girl thrives in a universe of freedom where she can practice many activities usually reserved for men, such as mountaineering. They are also a music-loving family. All her life, Elisabeth will retain a boundless admiration for her father.

🔴 𝗟𝗜𝗘𝗨 𝗗’𝗘𝗫𝗖𝗘𝗣𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡 🇧🇪 | Tomorrow, in an unprecedented episode of #secretsdhistoire, @bernstephane will take you into the extraordinary royal greenhouses of #Laeken castle, which house an incredible floral collection. 🌵🌷

Their meeting takes place around a drama. On May 4, 1897, Elisabeth’s aunt, the Duchess of Alençon died in the fire in the Bazar de la Charité. A few days later, during the funeral, Elisabeth fell in love with Albert, also present at the ceremony. For her, it is obvious, he will be her husband. On Albert’s side, the situation is slightly different. During the same ceremony, he falls in love, but with another: Isabelle d´Orléans. However, this union is quickly ruled out and it is the young man’s sister who, having noticed Elizabeth, acts as an intermediary and promotes a meeting. Quickly, they realize that they can benefit each other a lot and very strong feelings will bind them now.

When Albert was forced to ascend the throne in 1909, following the death of his uncle Leopold, he doubted. As he has to deliver the speech that allows him to take office, he steps back. Elisabeth then uses her persuasive force and the confidence she has in her husband to reassure him and help him take this step. Convinced he was not up to the task, he falters, especially as he remains marked by a stuttering which he suffered as a child. His wife helps him rehearse, pushing hard to get him ready when the time comes. A method that will be crowned with success.

Quickly, the Belgian royal couple marks the spirits by their singularity. Their attitude has nothing to do with that of their predecessors. They give a facelift to the function and opt for a new communication. Elisabeth quickly realizes that the image is important. She brings a photographer to the court who will be responsible for multiplying the portraits of the family. At the same time, a shower of objects bearing their likeness are sold: jewelry box, plates, knick-knacks …

🔴 𝗜𝗡𝗦𝗢𝗟𝗜𝗧𝗘 🇧🇪 | Tonight in #secretsdhistoire, @bernstephane opens the doors to the sculpture workshop of Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, at #chateau de Laeken. Almost nothing seems to have changed since his disappearance. 😮⚠️ 𝗘𝗣𝗜𝗦𝗢𝗗𝗘 𝗜𝗡𝗘𝗗𝗜𝗧 pic.twitter.com/ZL5TEylCuZ

In addition to the photographer who captures the moments in the life of the royal family, Elisabeth, too, has a passion for this art. She never leaves her device, at home and on her many trips. So, when she leaves for a foreign country, it is not uncommon for her to return with more than a hundred pictures.

When war broke out, it was obvious for Elisabeth to choose the Belgian camp, despite her German origins. Her husband asks her for her help in writing an important letter which he hopes will prevent his country from being invaded by the Germans. Despite the care taken in this letter, the German neighbor crossed the border. Albert and Elisabeth decide to stay on their territory. The queen spares no effort: daily at the bedside of the sick, she does not hesitate to accompany her husband in the trenches to support the soldiers. They will be acclaimed by the Belgians when the end of the conflict comes.

When in 1922, the queen learns that in Egypt, Tutankhamun’s burial is about to be unearthed, she decides to go there. Thus, she is one of the first to be able to discover this ancient treasure.

🔴 𝗥𝗢𝗜 𝗔𝗟𝗕𝗘𝗥𝗧 𝗜𝗜 | His Majesty The King of the Belgians Albert II does us the honor of intervening in the episode of #secretsdhistoire broadcast tomorrow and dedicated to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth of Belgium. 🇧🇪 @ MonarchiBe @bernstephane pic.twitter.com/Yuy8sExoRl

In love with thrills, Élisabeth is passionate about aviation. She multiplies the hours of flight for her greatest pleasure.

Much like her sister-in-law could have done for her, Elisabeth notices young Astrid during a trip to Sweden and immediately thinks that she would be perfect for her son Leopold. A good feeling: the couple married and created a certain emulation around them, until the sudden death of the young queen in a car accident in 1934, a few months after the death of King Albert.

Secrets of History: Elisabeth, the strange queen of Belgium, Monday January 11 at 9:05 p.m. on France 3.

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