Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Lil chérie..."

In Léopold III, photographe (2006), Princess Esmeralda of Belgium includes a touching letter from the King to his wife, Princess Lilian, dated April 22, 1952 (the year after his abdication). The royal couple had embarked together on an expedition to Central America, but Lilian had to leave early to return to the children in Belgium.
A ma petite Lil chérie, en traversant l'isthme, d'un océan à l'autre.

Dans quelques heures, tu vogueras sur l'Atlantique vers nos chers enfants, tandis que les flots du Pacifique me transporteront vers les Iles des Perles et le mystérieux Darién.

Nous serons physiquement séparés par d'innombrables kilomètres, mais pas un instant tu ne seras, ma petite Lil adorée, loin de mes pensées; rien ne peut couper les liens d'amour qui nous unissent.

Ne sois pas triste ma petite; pense à la joie que tu éprouveras en débarquant à Anvers. Tu seras entourée de l'amour de 5 êtres qui t'adorent. Ne sois pas inquiète sur mon sort; je serai très prudent et te rejoindrai en juin en bonne santé. Je suis, comme toi, affreusement malheureux de te quitter. Je le suis d'autant plus que je n'aurai plus à mes côtés, pour parcourir la jungle du Darién et la jungle du Haut-Orénoque, ma compagne intrépide de chasse et de pêche!

Lil chérie, je t'embrasse passionément, je te serre contre mon coeur.

Embrasse les enfants. A bientôt.

Ton Léo


To my dearest little Lil, while crossing the isthmus, from one ocean to another.

In a few hours, you will be sailing over the Atlantic, towards our dear children, while the waves of the Pacific will transport me to the Pearl Islands and mysterious Darién.

We will be physically separated by innumerable kilometers, but not for an instant, my adored little Lil, will you be far from my thoughts; nothing can break the bonds of love that unite us.

Don't be sad, my little one; think of the joy you will feel upon landing in Antwerp. You will be surrounded by the love of 5 people who adore you.

Don't be anxious about my fate; I will be very careful and I will rejoin you in June in good health. Like you, I am dreadfully unhappy to leave you. I am all the more so as I will no longer have, at my side, to cross the jungles of Darién and Higher Orinoco, my intrepid hunting and fishing companion!

Dearest Lil, I kiss you passionately, I press you to my heart.

Kiss the children. See you soon.

Your Léo
It is really sad that this romance is often portrayed in negative (and even vulgar) terms. The royal couple's own letters (see HERE for another example) evoke a genuinely noble love. It ought to be respected rather than mocked...

1 comment:

Viola said...

What a beautiful letter! The words are so moving and so full of love.

I've only read a little bit about this couple but I agree with you.