Since the accession of her husband to the throne of Belgium, in 1910, the young Queen has suffered much from delicate health, and was for a time in rather a dangerous condition. The adoration with which the people regard her was manifested in the affectionate demonstration which they made when the Queen drove out for the first time after her illness. It seemed as though all Brussels had come out to pay her loving homage.
But, though unable for a time to visit amongst the poor and take an active part in philanthropic work, the Queen had inspired such love in the people that the flower which she chose for her name-day-June 30 - was made the means of obtaining funds to help forward a cause dear to the heart of the Queen. Last year the little wild rose was named as the Queen's flower, and all through the towns and villages of Belgium the people wore the bloom. The proceeds from the sales were given to support the campaign against tuberculosis. The flower was sold at a penny, and some two hundred thousand francs were realised.
This year (1911) La Fleur de la Reine is the edelweiss, and the sale has been taken up with enormous enthusiasm. The favour is an artificial representation of the white, star-like flower, and attached to it is a ribbon with a tiny portrait of the Queen. The proceeds are to be devoted to fighting the terrible ravages made by that awful disease, the sleeping sickness, which is the scourge of the Congo.