Queen Fabiola of Belgium (June 11, 1928 – December 5, 2014) has passed away at the age of 86.The former queen died at her home at Stuyvenberg Castle on Friday after a final struggle with her health. We can rest assured that she is reunited now with her husband Baudoin, who adored her. The late king predeceased her by 21 years.
Fabiola, born into an aristocratic Spanish family, was the last of her siblings to marry. She was provided a magnificent education and trained as a nurse in Spanish military hospitals. Suffice it to say, she was not itching to marry right away and was focused on nursing, but a nun whom she met had other ideas.
She was deemed excellent wife material by the nun, Sister Veronica, whose express purpose was to find Baudoin a consort. Sister Veronica had been dispatched by the bishop of Malenes, who was distressed at the King’s lack of success at finding a suitable wife. He thought the King lonely, and thus Sister Veronica was sent on her mission.
Fabiola was everything they were looking for: Sister Veronica trumpeted her virtues and declared Fabiola “well-built, good-looking and striking, bubbling with life, intelligence and energy”. Baudoin’s lonely days were over.
The couple married in 1960. They were unable to have children of their own, but doted on their nieces and nephews.
Certainly, her family won’t be the same without Queen Fabiola. She appeared to be a fountain of strength, and a bit feisty. I remember a few years ago when she received a death threat from an anonymous source. The assassin claimed he would kill her using a crossbow during the balcony appearance for National Day in 2009.
On the day, the royals appeared on the balcony as usual. Suddenly, Queen Fabiola brandished a bright green apple and waved it around. It was a clear message to the bully: “Come and get me, William Tell.” What a gal.
Rest in peace, Fabiola.