Saturday, December 6, 2014

Former Queen Fabiola of Belgium Passes on:

Belgium's former Queen Fabiola dies at the age of 86. Belgian foreign minister Didier Reynders said: 'A page in our country's history has turned'
*The former Queen's cause of death has not been announced, but her health had been ailing since a bout of pneumonia in 2009
*Fabiola became queen of Belgium when she married King Baudouin in 1960
*She remained Queen Consort for 33 years - until Baudoin's death in 1993

The couple had no children, and Fabiola suffered five miscarriages over the course of her marriage 
Belgium's former Queen Fabiola has died at the age of 86 at Stuyvenbergh Castle.
A statement from the palace yesterday said: 'Their majesties the King and Queen and the members of the royal family announce with great sadness the death of Her Majesty Queen Fabiola in Brussels this evening.'

King Philippe of Belgium said he was left with 'great sadness' when he heard of the death of his aunt.
Although her exact cause of death has not been confirmed, Queen Fabiola, the childless widow of King Baudouin, had been suffering from osteoporosis for years, and had never fully recovered from pneumonia in 2009. The former queen, who used a wheelchair, had looked increasingly frail over the past month as she increasingly limited her public appearances.

Fabiola was born in 1928 as Fabiola de Mora y Aragón into an aristocratic family in Madrid, Spain.
Her godmother was Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain.

After Baudouin's death, Fabiola moved out of the Royal Palace of Laeken to take up residence at Stuyvenbergh Castle.

As the couple had no children, the crown passed on to Baudoin's younger brother, King Albert II, who abdicated the throne in 2013 citing health reasons. He was succeeded by his son, now King Phillippe, on 21 July 2013.

Fabiola, a devout Roman Catholic, was generally regarded to be a popular monarch, known for her tireless charity work. In 2001, she was awarded the Ceres Medal in recognition of her work to help rural women in developing countries.

Tragically, Fabiola suffered five miscarriages during the course of her marriage to Baudoin. She openly spoke about this in 2008, stating: 'You know, I myself lost five children.
'You learn something from that experience. I had problems with all my pregnancies, but you know, in the end I think life is beautiful.'

Fabiola's bout of ill health commenced in January 2009 when she was hospitalised with pneumonia and spent 15 days there, with her condition being described as 'serious'. She subsequently recovered.

In July 2009, alarming anonymous death threats were published by newspapers which stated Queen Fabiola was to be assassinated with a crossbow. She swiftly responded to the death threats during the Belgian national holiday celebrations later that month when she jokingly waved an apple to the crowd. The provocative gesture, a reference to Swiss folk hero William Tell who shot an apple off the head of his son, won her much praise.

Picture courtesy of Getty Images         

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