“She possessed the gift to bring hope to all she met…”
King Philippe paid tribute to Queen Fabiola in his Christmas speech, beginning with a personal tribute to his aunt, whose funeral was earlier this month in Brussels. He made the speech’s theme the ‘power of hope.’ “She possessed the gift,” he said, “to bring hope to all she met, with a few simple words and gestures. Without reservation she strove for those in difficulty. We are grateful to her for all she did and for who she was.”
The late queen’s message was of greater importance, the king said, “in a time all too often marked by fear – fear for the future, fear of failure, fear of the stranger. Fear can be so overwhelming that people become paralysed, shut away in their own isolation, their hope for the future taken from them.”
The remedy, he suggested, is to look at the world through new eyes, more hopeful and more optimistic. “A positive approach releases more energy and creativity, not only within ourselves but also in those around us. I’m thinking of the many people the Queen and I have met, who have found their way to a new start out of adversity and failure. An attitude like that leads to commitment. It is also a way of seeing the world that truly inspires others.”
On this day in history, 15 December 1960, King Baudouin and Doña Fabiola de Mora y Aragón were united in marriage and Queen Fabiola would go on to bring a warm ray of sunshine from Spain to a sometimes gloomy King Baudouin.
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.
The funeral of Queen Fabiola was an emotional event for many, including her next of kin. In this video, you will hear music performed by the Spanish group Coro Riciero from Vilvoorde. The music symbolizes the joy as the “Olé Olé” and castanets resounded in the cathedral. For many, this was the highlight of the ceremony. You will also hear Princess Elizabeth reading out that “Uncle Boudewijn and Aunt Fabiola were always fighting for peace.”