Prince Philippe, son of King Leopold I of Belgium, was created Count of Flanders on December 14, 1840. Was the name Flanders chosen because of the historical significance?
Count of Flanders is – in the Belgian context – a dynastic title that is usually given to one of the descendants of the king of the Belgians. It is a symbolic continuation of the princely title of the old county of Flanders. After the death of Prince Karel in 1983, the title of Count of Flanders was no longer awarded.
The title of Count of Flanders was granted ad personam and was not hereditary (Royal Decrees of 1840, 1891 and 1910). This title was attributed to the king's second son. By Royal Decree of October 16, 2001, it was decided to no longer grant the title of Count of Flanders.
There have been only 2 Count of Flanders within the current Belgian Royal Family (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha):
> Prince Philippe of Belgium, Count of Flanders (Dutch: Filips)( 24 March 1837 – 17 November 1905), was the third born and second surviving son of King Leopold I of Belgium and Louise d'Orléans.Born at the Château de Laeken, near Brussels, Belgium, Philippe was created Count of Flanders on 14 December 1840. Upon the death of his nephew Prince Leopold, Duke of Brabant, he became heir presumptive to the Belgian throne. In 1866, after the abdication of Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Prince of Romania, Philippe refused being named the new Romanian sovereign, and the throne was later accepted by Philippe's brother-in-law Carol I. Earlier, he had also refused the crown of Greece, which was offered to him in 1862.Philippe died in 1905. When his brother King Leopold II died in 1909, Philippe's second son ascended the Belgian throne as King Albert I.
> Prince Charles, Count of Flanders (Dutch: Karel, German: Karl)( 10 October 1903 – 1 June 1983) was a member of the Belgian royal family who served as regent of Belgium from 1944 until 1950, while a judicial commission investigated his elder brother, King Leopold III of Belgium, as to whether he betrayed the Allies of World War II by an allegedly premature surrender in 1940 and collaboration with the Nazis during the occupation of Belgium. Charles' regency ended when Leopold was allowed to return to Belgium. Shortly after returning and resuming his monarchical duties, Leopold abdicated in favour of his son, Baudouin.Born in Brussels, Charles was the second son of King Albert I of Belgium and Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria. It is reported that Prince Charles, Count of Flanders, married Louise Marie Jacqueline Peyrebrune (16 February 1921, in La Réole – September 2014, in Saint-Hilaire-de-la-Noaille), formerly Mrs. Georges Schaack, daughter of Alfred Peyrebrune and Marie Madeleine Triaut, in a religious ceremony in Paris on 14 September 1977. This marriage has been mentioned in every edition of the revived Almanach de Gotha. However L'Allemagne Dynastique doubts this assertion, affirming instead that not only was there no civil marriage but that there was also no religious one (which could not take place before a civil marriage, according to French Law). No such religious marriage is registered in the Parish registers of Saint-Pierre-de-Montrouge, but a mere private blessing eight months after the death of her husband given by Father Marcelino Carrera was registered: "The private blessing uniting before God Charles Theodore Count of Flanders and Louise Marie Jacqueline Peyrebrune was given at Saint Peter's at the altar of the Sacred Heart on 14 September 1977. The mutual consent was received by your humble brother in Christ (Fr. Carrera) in the presence of Father Keller and witnesses (Comtesse Annie de Bergeret and Mme. Marie Jeannette Aurelie Menahes). The statement is also signed by the participants and witnesses." This was confirmed by private correspondence of Jacqueline Peyrebrune. She published her memoirs in two books: Love in Shadow - The Secret Garden of Prince Charles of Belgium (Editions Tarmeye, 1991) and Carnets Intimes (Editions Tarmeye, 1993).