Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Tragic Cliffs

I may do a series of posts on popular representations of the Belgian monarchy. A case in point is the legend built up around the death of Albert I. This tragedy became one of the pillars of the "Myth of King Albert" and gave rise to a tradition of pious mementos. Here are a few old postcards illustrating the terrible event...
The caption reads: "A general view of the cliffs of the valley of the Meuse. The sign X marks the cruel peak, where the Sovereign fell, from a height of around 12 meters, hitting his head against a large rock."
"The place where the body of the illustrious alpinist was found. The rock, bearing the letter A, marks the location of his backpack."
"The crowd in meditation before the tragic cliff." In shock and disbelief, many Belgians came to grieve and pray.

Today, schoolchildren continue to visit the sombre place where, 75 years ago, the broken body of their beloved King was found...

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