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Who is Marie-Christine, the only princess of the monarchy absent at the wedding of Laura of Belgium?

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  • Reading time:7 mins read

Princess Marie-Christine never appears alongside members of the royal family.


Reading time: 3 mins

On September 10, during the wedding of Princess Laura of Belgium to William Isvy, only one princess of the Belgian monarchy (out of the 23 Belgian princes and princesses) was missing: Princess Marie-Christine.



Daughter of Leopold III, Princess Marie-Christine has had no contact with the Belgian royal family for many years. But who is she exactly and what becomes of her?

Princess Marie-Christine of Belgium.
Princess Marie-Christine of Belgium. – BelgaImage

Marie-Christine was born in 1951 from the second marriage of King Leopold III to Princess Lilian de Réthy. She is the sister of Prince Alexander (who died in 2009) and Princess Maria-Esmeralda. Being the daughter of Leopold III, Marie-Christine is also the half-sister of Kings Baudouin and Albert.

Marie-Christine of Belgium, on the knees of her father King Leopold III.
Marie-Christine of Belgium, on the knees of her father King Leopold III. – BelgaImage

The one known as Daphne in private has always had trouble complying with her royal obligations, and in the early 80s, when relations with her mother were difficult, Marie-Christine began to travel and left for Canada. There, she meets Paul Drucker, a widower and 13 years her senior, whom she marries in an arranged marriage to obtain a residence permit in Canada.

When her father Léopold died in 1983, Princess Marie-Christine did not attend the funeral, but nevertheless returned to Belgium to gather incognito at the tomb of the deceased king.

Remarriage with a crook

Six years later, after divorcing her first husband, Leopold III’s daughter married a Frenchman, Jean-Paul Gourgues. The latter, with whom the princess lives the high life in Los Angeles, does not have a good reputation. Indeed, he is known to be a crook and has a criminal record for burglaries.

Today, Marie-Christine still lives with Jean-Paul Gourgues, in Sequim, Washington, Flemish journalist Mario Daneels reported in 2020. Under the influence of her husband, the princess is ruined. Everything she inherited from her parents was squandered, especially in casinos. Jean-Paul Gourgues manipulates her in such a way that she believes she can’t live without him “, in particular testified to the reporter Franck Verhaeghe, a friend of the princess, whom he knew in Las Vegas.

A situation that causes concern. Marie-Christine’s sister, Maria-Esmeralda, has tried to keep in touch with her over the years, but for several years now, the ties have been completely broken.



Princess Marie-Christine has not returned to Belgium for decades. Neither for the funeral of her half-brother King Baudouin in 1993, nor for that of her mother Lilian de Réthy, in 2002. She only released an autobiography in 2005 entitled “La Brisure”, where she attacks her mother and Royal family.