Twenty-three Years Ago Today…

The world and, in particular, the people of Belgium lost an extraordinary servant King. Today marks the twenty-third anniversary of the shockingly early passing of King Baudouin I of the Belgians on 31 July 1993. He died of a massive heart attack while on vacation at the royal couple’s compound, Villa Astrida, in Motril, Southern Spain.

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King Baudouin – 25th Jubilee

April 1, 1976 saw Belgium celebrate the 25th Jubilee of King Baudouin. Here are public and private scenes from some of the celebrations.

From the balcony of the Brussels City Hall, King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola greet the Belgian people with one heart as the crowd cheers.

From the balcony of the Brussels City Hall, King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola greet the Belgian people with one heart as the crowd cheers.

The crowds receive their sovereign from the balcony of the Brussels City Hall.

The crowds receive their sovereign from the balcony of the Brussels City Hall.

Greeting the Belgian citizens.

Greeting the Belgian citizens.

At the palace of Laeken, which is the familiar residence of the royal couple of Belgium, am intimate family dinner. Around the table: Prince Laurent (back), Princess Paola, King Baudouin, Princess Margaretha of Luxembourg, Princess Astrid, Prince Albert, Queen Fabiola and Prince Philippe.

At the palace of Laeken, which is the familiar residence of the royal couple of Belgium, an intimate family dinner. Around the table: Prince Laurent (back), Princess Paola, King Baudouin, Princess Margaretha of Luxembourg, Princess Astrid, Prince Albert, Queen Fabiola and Prince Philippe.

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Years of happiness and moments of relaxation between the Baudouin and Fabiola. Calm dialogue in the private study.

Years of happiness and moments of relaxation between the Baudouin and Fabiola. Happy dialogue in the private study.

Enjoying the fresh air together.

Enjoying the fresh air together.

Playing table tennis in the park at Laeken.

Playing table tennis in the park at Laeken.

King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola in JAPAN

In 1964, British Pathé took footage during King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola’s official state visit to the Empire of Japan.  Enjoy lovely Crown Princess Michiko – always chic and beautiful.  There is a charming true story that unites King Baudouin with then Crown Prince Akohito. During a diplomatic stop-over for the King in Japan, Crown Prince Akihito requested to speak to Baudouin privately.

This generated much nervous buzz in the Belgian embassy, as it was highly unusual. Akihito requested Baudouin’s help getting his letters to Michiko in Europe, since she was supposedly sent there to separate the two. Baudouin took all of the letters Akihito had been trying to get the Japanese diplomatic corps to deliver to Europe in the pouches and the King delivered them himself to Michiko.

Additionally, he spoke to the Emperor on the behalf of Akihito and Michiko, helping pave the way for a beautiful marriage of the now Emperor and Empress of Japan. That is why Akihito and Michiko felt quite close to Baudouin and Fabiola and undoubtedly why Michiko paid her respects at Fabiola’s funeral in December 2014.

Enjoy!

This footage is the sole property of British Pathé and they retain all legal rights. It is only presented here within the YouTube Plugin.

Faux King Baudouin – 1951

There once was a young man who exactly resembled young King Baudouin of the Belgians and this is what happened next…

21 November 1951 a small group of students is about to be talked about in the whole of Belgium. They rent a limousine and driver and distribute the roles of palace ministers, officers, King, and so on… Their target is none other than the Institute d’Heverlee, Sacred Heart – as the saying goes home of “eleven thousand virgins.” There they will be welcomed with open arms by a community of Sisters and the “King” will shamelessly visit the institute only to be discovered by a suspicious Bishop to end this epic student prank.

Musical credit: Spike Jones, Charleston

La Libre.be : Le “faux Roi”: 60 ans déjà – (toute l’histoire ici)

Coro Rociero Sing Tribute to Queen Fabiola “Salve Rociera OLÉ OLÉ”

Spanish castanets bring fire to the funeral of Spaniard Belgian Queen Fabiola

The castanets of Coro Rociero, the Vilvoorde clatter to the strains of “Olé Olé” rang out in the Cathedral of Saint Michael and Gudula during the funeral of beloved Belgian Queen Fabiola. The Spanish branch of the Queen Fabiola’s family sang along with the folk troupe, which was dressed in traditional costume. Queen Mathilde let her tears flow freely.  For many, this was the emotional pinnacle of Fabiola’s funeral.

Spanish & English Lyrics