Photographer's Note

Oostende 'Reine des plages' as said in French, because it received many attention from the royal family.
This is essentially the King Leopold II who gave Oostende its royal character.
He had several villas built as from 1874. He liked Oostende so much that he regularly met with criticism on his neglecting the capital Brussels. Also, rumor quickly spread that Leopold II, who had numerous mistresses, preferred to be away from his wife in Brussels and spend more time in Oostende for his frequent amorous escapades. He rewarded the hospitality of the city with the construction of some magnificent monuments.
Later Belgian kings tended to stay away from Oostende. Leopold III preferred Knokke and his successor, King Bauduin, preferred to spend his holidays in Spain, the home country of his wife Queen Fabiola. (from

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