Friday, January 15, 2010

A Letter By King Baudouin

Here are a few extracts from a touching letter, dated January 31, 1982, addressed by King Baudouin I to his father, former King Leopold III. The affectionate tone marks the renewal of warmth between father and son. During the 1960's, political and personal factors had caused an estrangement between Leopold and Baudouin, but their relations improved in the 1970's and early 1980's. Towards the end of Leopold's life, after years of absence, Baudouin (albeit discreetly and alone) visited him periodically at Argenteuil.
Mon cher Papa,
Ta carte si affectueuse m'a apporté une grande joie. Cela fait du bien d'être parfois encouragé par son père, surtout lorsque celui-ci à été du métier...
Tu peux t'imaginer combien je serais heureux de te revoir et de passer quelques heures avec toi. Je voudrais à cette occasion te parler de notre Pays et de mon rôle...
En attendant un signe de ta part, je t'embrasse avec toute l'affection que tu sais.
Ton fils,
Baudouin 
***
My dear Papa,
Your so affectionate card brought me great joy. It does one good to be encouraged from time to time by one's father, especially when he has been in one's profession...
You can imagine how happy I would be to see you again and spend some time with you. I would like to speak with you, on this occasion, about our Country and my role...
As I wait for a signal on your part, I embrace you with all the affection you know.
Your son,
Baudouin
(quoted by Michel Verwilghen in Le mythe d'Argenteuil, 2006, p. 344) 

2 comments:

MadMonarchist said...

A great letter and another illustration of the mixed feelings about King Baudouin coming to the throne early. It is sad because of the injustice done to King Leopold III but as this letter shows, King Baudouin did benefit from having his father around after becoming king to give him the benefit of his experience. It is good that they were able to get back to that place.

Matterhorn said...

Yes, and I'm sure that the efforts of some to keep father and son apart over so many years were probably intended to weaken Baudouin by preventing him from reaping this sort of benefit.