Here is a touching letter addressed by Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians to her son, Leopold III, then imprisoned by the Gestapo and the S.S. at the fortress of Hirschstein on the Elbe. The note, dated June 9, 1944, shortly after the deportation of Princess Lilian, Princess Josephine-Charlotte, and Princes Baudouin, Albert and Alexandre, did not reach Leopold until April, 1945, after the royal prisoners had been transferred to Strobl in Austria.
My dear dear Leop.
We did EVERYTHING to prevent the departure of Lil and the children, but NOTHING worked!! Lil will tell you everything. I only want to tell you that I am thinking of you all the time and that my thoughts will continue to be with you, Lil and the children. I hope we will be able to see each other again soon! You can count on me for everything that is in my power to do. I embrace you tenderly, my heart heavy to see dear Lil and the 4 little ones depart.
My very dear little Maman,
Above all, I want to tell you how much your little note(1) touched me and gave me pleasure. We know how far we can count on you.
You will certainly be happy to know that we are all in good health. But the circumstances are so sad! My trip was easy since there were only the three men. That of Lil and the children was much harder. One day, we will be able to tell you all about it.
Boredom will doubtless be our worst enemy. So we try to organise our days, in consequence. Each of us gives lessons to the children; Lil, French, I, history, Gierst, mathematics, du Parc, English, Weemaes, Latin and Flemish!
The garden is very small, we more or less go around in circles. Barbed wire everywhere. The most tiresome part is not having any direct news.
Our thoughts remain at Laeken close to you. Be careful, dear, dear Maman. Be optimistic and do not worry about our fate. We will all see each other again, soon, with patience...
Again, thank you for what you have done. K. who is bringing you this(?) message will tell you many things, which I cannot put to paper.
Always your Leop who embraces you tenderly and loves you.
(1) Evidently, a different note from the letter by Elisabeth quoted here.