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Örjan Martinsson

Regents of Belgium

Belgium did not become an independent state until 1831, after a rebellion against the Dutch king. But it has a continuity that goes back to the Burgundian state that evolved in the border region between France and Germany. It had been created 1363 when the French king granted his son Philippe the Bold the duchy of Burgundy. That duchy was located further south of present day Belgium but Philippe the Bold expanded his holdings 1384 when he inherited the county of Flanders, which constitute the northern part of Belgium. Artois and Franche Comté was also included in the inheritance and through further inheritances, purchases and conquests the Burgundian dukes would become masters of a large territory on both sides of the Franco-German border with its capitol in Brussels.

Most territories located on the French side of the border were lost after the death of Charles the Bold 1477 but the rest was inherited by the Habsburg dynasty. These territories that now were called the Netherlands were considerably reduced when the northern provinces declared them selves independent 1581. After that the Belgian provinces was first called the Spanish Netherlands and after 1713 the Austrian Netherlands to distinguish them from the independent state of the United Netherlands. The Franco-Spanish wars of the 17th century lead to further territorial losses and in 1795 all of Belgium was conquered by France. 1815 the Congress of Vienna decided that Belgium and the United Netherlands should be a unified kingdom, but the Belgians rebelled after just fifteen years.

Because Belgium was not a single political unit before its independence and instead several different provinces with the same ruler are the Latin numerals of the regents those they used in their main country.

(1363) -1404
1404-1419
1419-1467
1467-1477
1477-1482
House of Valois

Philippe II, le Hardi (the Bold)
Jean sans Peur (the Fearless)
Philippe III, le Bon (the Good)
Charles le Téméraire (the Bold)
Marie

1482-1506

House of Habsburg

Philippe I, le Bel (the Fair)

1506-1555 Charles I
1555-1598
1598-1621
Philippe II
Albert and Isabel

 
1621-1665 Philippe IV
1665-1700 Charles II

1700-1713


House of Bourbon
 
Philippe V

1714-1740


House of Habsburg
 

Charles VI
1740-1780 Marie-Thérèse
1740-1765 François I
1765-1790 Joseph II
1790-1792 Léopold II
1792-1795 François II
1795-1814
1815-1830
Part of France
Part of the Netherlands


Kingdom of Belgium

House of Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha
 

1831-1865
1865-1909
1909-1934
1934-1951
1940-1944
1944-1950
1950-1993
1993-2013
2013-
Léopold I
Léopold II
Albert I
Léopold III *
German occupation
Charles (regent)
Baudouin I ( = 1951)
Albert II
Philippe

* = Léopold III was a German prisoner of war from May 28th 1940 to May 8th 1945. After the war he lived in exile in Switzerland to 1950.

= Spain
= Castile
= Portugal
= Milan
= Both Sicilies
= Germany
= Austria

 
  = Bohemia
= Hungary
= Transylvania