Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Marriage of King Baudouin I and Queen Fabiola

Today is the 50th anniversary of the magnificent wedding of Baudouin I, King of the Belgians (1930-1993) and his Spanish-born, aristocratic consort, Doña Fabiola de Mora y de Aragón (1928-). The couple were married in Brussels on December 15, 1960, just ten days before Christmas! We do not really know the details of how Baudouin and Fabiola met, although the late Cardinal Suenens, Archbishop of Malines and one of the fathers of the Second Vatican Council, claimed, many years later, to have played a major role in bringing them together. 

In any case, Baudouin and Fabiola proved to be a deeply devoted couple. Sadly, they remained childless, but stoically bore this sorrow. For nearly 33 years, the popular, unassuming King and Queen tenderly supported each other in their difficult public role, serving Belgium with admirable dedication. If Baudouin and Fabiola were criticized at times for their perceived lack of glamor, this slightly stodgy image may actually have worked in their favor by helping to shield them from even the suspicion of scandal. And, whatever the critics might say, the charming bride in her beautiful Balenciaga gown certainly cut an elegant figure!


MadMonarchist said...

I would trade a lack of glamor for a surplus in dignity, virtue and devotion to duty every day of the week and twice on Sunday. I adore Queen Fabiola and, though I've never done a thorough "study" on it, I generally consider King Baudouin the greatest monarch in the world of the post-war crop because of his courage, his dignity (especially in the face of heartache) and his loyalty to his convictions. Some have, so I hear, compared Crown Prince Philippe to his late uncle in an unfavorable way. I say if Prince Philippe is even half the king that Baudouin was then Belgium will have been blessed indeed.

I hope this occasion is one of happy reflection for Queen Fabiola with as little sadness as possible. My favorite, to be honest, part of the wedding pictures is seeing the King wearing his Order of Isabella the Catholic.

May said...

It is sad that King Baudouin is not here to celebrate his golden wedding, as his brother did last year, but I think this couple's love is one that endures beyond death.