Josephine-Charlotte of BelgiumJoséphine-Charlotte Ingeborg Elisabeth Marie-José Marguerite Astrid, Princess of the Belgians and Princess of Saxe Coburg Gotha, was born on October 11, 1927 at the Royal Palace of Brussels.
The young princess spent her childhood at the Stuyvenberg Palace just outside of Brussels with her parents, Prince Léopold (who was to be King Leopold III) and Princess Astrid. Her mother, a princess of Sweden and a direct descendant of Josephine de Beauharnais, was killed in an automobile accident in 1935 at age 29.
Princess Joséphine-Charlotte first attended school at the Royal Palace where a small class had been organized for her. At the end of 1940 she entered a boarding school and then continued her education with her own private teachers. On June 7, 1944, the day after the Allied Forces landed in Normandy, France, she and her father were sent to Germany and kept there under house arrest. The Royal Family, which included her brothers Baudouin and Albert and their stepmother, Mary Lilian Baels, Princess de Réthy, was freed on May 7, 1945 and settled in Prégny, Switzerland.
Princess Joséphine-Charlotte continued her studies at the "Ecole Supérieure de Jeunes Filles" in Geneva, Switzerland. Afterwards she followed the lectures on Children's psychology of Professor Piaget at the University of Geneva. When she returned to Belgium the princess took up her official duties. At the same time she also devoted herself to social problems and developed her interest in the arts.
- Princess Marie-Astrid, who was born on February 17, 1954;
- Grand Duke Henri, who was born on April 16, 1955;
- Prince Jean, who was born on May 15, 1957;
- Princess Margaretha, who was born on May 15, 1957;
- Prince Guillaume, who was born on May 1, 1963.
The Grand Duchess is interested in childhood problems, family and health problems. From 1959 to 1970 she was President of the Luxembourgian (Letzbourgesch) Youth Red Cross; since 1964 she has been President of the Luxembourgian (Letzbourgesch) Red Cross.
Princess Joséphine-Charlotte's favourite hobbies include gardening and horticulture. She also likes hunting, fishing, skiing and watersports.