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Thursday, September 22, 2022

Leopold III - King of the Belgians from Nazaire Beeusaert

Leopold III (3 November 1901 – 25 September 1983) was King of the Belgians from 23 February 1934 until his abdication on 16 July 1951. On the outbreak of World War II, Leopold tried to maintain Belgian neutrality, but after the German invasion in May 1940, he surrendered his country, earning him much hostility, both at home and abroad. Leopold's act was declared unconstitutional by Prime Minister Hubert Pierlot and his cabinet, who moved to London to form a government-in-exile, while Leopold and his family were placed under house arrest. In 1944, they were moved to Germany and then Austria, before being liberated by the Americans, but banned for some years from returning to Belgium, where his brother Prince Charles, Count of Flanders, had been declared regent. Leopold's eventual return to his homeland in 1950 nearly caused a civil war, and under pressure from the government, he abdicated in favour of his son Baudouin in July 1951. Nazaire Beeusaert (NB), a Belgian toy soldier company, produced different types of composition soldiers depicting Leopold III during 30s/40s. I have 4 different NB's figurines of Leopold III in my collection.

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