With mostly German ancestry Ursula von der Leyen is also of British, Italian, and French descent.
Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen was born Ursula Gertrud Albrecht on October 8, 1958, in Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium to the family of Ernst Albrecht and Heidi Adele Stromeyer. Her father worked for the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community, precursors to the European Union, before moving back to Germany where he pursued a career in regional politics. He became premier of Lower Saxony in 1976, a position he held until 1990 (he lost reelection that year to Gerhard Schröder, who would go on to become German chancellor). Her mother had a university doctorate and academic success was much encouraged.