Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dignity in Distress

In his study of European monarchy in the twentieth century, Geoffrey Bocca gives a good description of Princess Lilian's cheerful courage, which I think has been inherited in large measure by her daughter, Princess Esmeralda.
Through all her ordeal Liliane de Rethy behaved with dignity. A gay, gregarious person, she accepted without question the cloistered existence which her marriage imposed on her. It is a remarkable fact that from the time of her marriage to the ceremonies of the World Fair in 1958, in which she was pushed into the foreground by Baudouin, not two hundred Belgians had so much as set eyes on her. Hardly a score had heard her voice. She had appeared in public only once, at a birthday party for Queen Elisabeth in 1942. She laughed away the attacks on her and did not let even her husband see what distress she had suffered. (Kings Without Thrones, 1959, pp. 62-63)

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