Leopold II of Belgium

05 Feb 2021  Fri

Leopold II was the second King of the Belgians from 1865 to 1909 and, through his own efforts, the owner and absolute ruler of the Congo Free State from 1885 to 1908.

Born in Brussels as the second but eldest surviving son of Leopold I and Louise of Orleans, he succeeded his father to the Belgian throne in 1865 and reigned for 44 years until his death—the longest reign of any Belgian monarch. He died without surviving legitimate sons.

He explained his goal for his reign in an 1888 letter addressed to his brother, Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders: "the country must be strong, prosperous, therefore have colonies of her own, beautiful and calm." Leopold's reign was marked by a number of major political developments. The Beautiful Gold 20 Franc coin was issued in 1874. The obverse of a coin depicts the bearded head of Leopold II right. The reverse of a coin represents crowned round Belgian Coat of Arms within order collar.

Image Source: https://www.coinshome.net

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