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.
Baudouin and Fabiola had very clear and refined spiritual philosophies that combined to form a powerful love and caring for the Belgian people. As a shepherd king, Baudouin was known for the deep spiritual spring which bubbled up within his daily life embodying his personal dedication to his people, which dictated his daily aims and activities. He explained to a fellow pilgrim his purpose in being king was:
” to love his country, to pray for his country, and to suffer for his country. ” ¹
Paramount within him was his belief in the FIAT prayer that we ‘Always and everywhere be witnesses to the Lord.’ This dovetails exactly with Queen Fabiola’s remembrance card which states her simple and profound example to us all, reminding us to, Always say YES to God. May we always give thanks for those faithful pilgrims who have gone before us for their example to us as God’s children.
¹ from “Baudouin, King of the Belgians: The Hidden Life” by Cardinal Suenens.
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.”