Princess Louise of Belgium was born in Laeken, Belgium, the eldest daughter of King Leopold II and Queen Marie-Henriette. In 1875, at age 17, she was married to Prince Philipp, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, a cousin 14 years her senior, with whom she had two children. Louise and her husband went to live in Vienna, where they were members of the close circle of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth. In 1897, she scandalized society by leaving her husband for her lover Count Géza Mattachich, an officer in the Austrian Imperial army. Estranged from her family, Louise was deeply in debt. Mattachich was arrested and imprisoned for four years for forging promissory notes and Louise was interned in an insane asylum. After Mattachich was released, he helped her escape in 1904 and they lived together until his death in 1923. She published her autobiography, entitled My Own Affairs, in 1921.