Belgium, 20 Franc, 1914. Military Bust. One year type.

6.4516 g., .900 GOLD, .1867 oz AGW.

Brilliant Uncirculated

King Albert I




This image is a courtesy of Marc Nollet of Brussels
Albert I (of Belgium) (1875-1934), king of the Belgians (1909-34), nephew of King Leopold II. He was born in Brussel and educated privately and at the École Militaire. Before his accession to the throne he bore the title count of Flanders. His democratic manner made him the most popular member of the reigning house. He traveled widely and was a student of politics and economics. In 1898 and again in 1919 he visited the U.S. In 1900 he made an extended tour of the Belgian Congo and on his return to Belgium urged the need of railroad development and of reform in the treatment of the Congolese; when he became king, he ordered many improvements in the administration of this colony. On the death of Leopold II in 1909, Albert acceded to the throne. While on a visit to Berlin in 1913, Albert was informed of Germany's plans for war by Emperor William II. He immediately warned France and on July 31, 1914, sent a personal letter to the German emperor informing him that Belgium would remain neutral. When the letter was ignored and German troops poured into Belgium, Albert assumed active command of his army and directed a successful delaying action against invasion. He remained with his troops throughout the war. After World War I he played an active role in the reconstruction of his country and in 1919 made a plea to the Allies for the abolition of the Treaty of London, which made Belgium neutral ground and thus vulnerable to invasion. As a result, the abolition of the treaty was incorporated into the Treaty of Versailles. Albert supported general industrial expansion and the development of a strong merchant fleet as the best methods of national recovery. In 1934 he was killed by a fall while mountain climbing. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Leopold III.

"Albert I (of Belgium)," Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 98 Encyclopedia
KM #79, Obverse Dutch leg: DER BELGEN
KM #78, Obverse French leg: DER BELGES