Although the impact of the French Revolution on aristocracy and monarchy outside France may be exaggerated by some,1 it did bring forth the end of absolutist regimes in Western Europe. Monarchs could no longer claim superiority to everything and everyone as God’s representatives on earth, and nineteenth-century rulers-oen from newly established monarchies-realized this. Leopold I, the rst king of the Belgians (1831-1865), was no exception. is is apparent in his letters to his niece, the future Queen Victoria of Britain, in which he contemplates the unpredictable circumstances under which he became king of the recently founded Belgian kingdom.2