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Author Topic: King Baudouin of The Belgians (1930-1993)  (Read 72730 times)
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lellobeetle

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« Reply #45 on: November 22, 2013, 06:04:42 AM »

I created a video presentation of King Baudouin's early life up to 1960. I'm going to finish it out but in a separate video. If you're interested it's at

Baudouin I: Common King - Uncommon Man
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lellobeetle

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« Reply #46 on: November 22, 2013, 06:32:49 AM »

Pictures of King Baudouin is his H-O-T younger days.











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My13

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« Reply #47 on: November 22, 2013, 09:40:56 PM »

Fantastic work, lellobeetle! I wish I could give you a dozen :star:s for your hard work finding all these pictures and videos, also in other threads. Thank you!
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duchesse

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« Reply #48 on: November 22, 2013, 11:36:25 PM »

 Star


Yes ... thanks so much Lellobeetle!!!! They are lovely pictures! You have put so much work into this.

Baudouin seemed like a true gentleman .. everything a good monarch should be. He was also very handsome when he was young!
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lellobeetle

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« Reply #49 on: November 23, 2013, 02:03:50 AM »

I appreciate you guys telling me that so much, because I wasn't sure if there was any interest in this subject. I really am inspired by their story and I appreciate the chance to round out the information here available on this couple and their story.  So, many thanks again.  Hug
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lellobeetle

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« Reply #50 on: November 23, 2013, 04:18:41 AM »

Some funny and not so funny magazines & newspapers

Predictions by the press on who he was going to date and/or marry





Suave Baudouin  


Fabiola Mom this summer Cry


Fabiola risks her life for love


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lellobeetle

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« Reply #51 on: November 23, 2013, 05:50:37 AM »


Favorite Candid and other Shots


With Audrey Hepburn


I couldn't figure out why he had the Apollo astronauts visit, but then I found out he was an astronomy geek/enthusiast, so that made sense to me finally


And here they are in Florida watching one of the Apollo launches. They are just to the right of the man pointing directly up


Another trip in a jet


Always very casual at home


Shooting a long bow to...I don't know where  Laugh bounce



Their OTHER car was not a Porsche....it was a VW Beetle 


WATCH OUT cause Fabs does drive






More conventional transportation



Oh my Gawd, her hair was ALWAYS like that!  Laughing


Whew! It's okay cause she likes scarves and other head coverings







And hats...don't forget hats





Was there a more successful or happier royal marriage?  Victoria & Albert or Nikki & Alex























































Always through thick and thin















One of the saddest I came across.  Has there been another picture of two people more agonized?



Always happily ever after














Please Note: Because I've posted so many pictures in one thread, please do not quote the thread to make a comment.  If you want to reference a picture, just right click on the picture and select "Copy Image Location". It will copy the link to text to your clipboard.  Then you can select the IMG icon in the editor and paste the individual picture into your post.  I think the board admins would appreciate you doing that.  Thanks everyone!  I hope you enjoy these.  I have some more coming on pics with other royals, odds and ends, quirky Fab, etc.[/b]
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QueenEM

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« Reply #52 on: November 23, 2013, 06:57:12 AM »

when I look at those pics I get this bittersweet feeling, they were truly made for each other...
you are doing a great job lellobeetle  Star

btw, the Beatrice mentioned in that magazine as a possible bride is THE Beatrix?  Laugh bounce
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cordtx

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« Reply #53 on: November 23, 2013, 07:04:02 AM »

Thank you lellobeetle,
I thank you for all you have taught me about this fabulous couple!
The way they look at each other....damn
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esther angeline

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« Reply #54 on: November 23, 2013, 07:57:41 AM »

Lellobeetle, a sky full of stars for you!  Star 
When and how did they meet and how long did they date?
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lellobeetle

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« Reply #55 on: November 23, 2013, 08:50:05 AM »

Lellobeetle, a sky full of stars for you!  Star 
When and how did they meet and how long did they date?

Much has been made of this question, and I think there has been way too much made over the way they were introduced. Many say it was an arranged marriage through the church, but that is not how it went down. What happened was this: A young King Baudouin had a spiritual mentor (some RC's may think of this like a Spiritual Director who helps you in your spiritual live and journey).

Cardinal Leo Joseph Suenens


He knew Baudouin for many years and some who actually knew the two and knew much more of about Baudouin say that he was also a replacement father figure since Baudouin was put in a very awkward position being a young King with a deposed father living in the same house. How painful must that have been? Anyway, they would talk alot and walk on the grounds of the palace in Laeken. He could see how desperately lonely and particularly isolated the poor boy was, so he asked an Irish nun named Veronica O'Brien to come to Belgium to meet with Baudouin. Here's the thing - she met with him about MANY spiritual things across the board.

She met with him at least five hours, but I have heard it was over more than one day. She then wrote him a letter in English that said, "Dear King... May I offer you, on this beautiful Feast of the Annunciation, these precious little books which we spoke about? (The Secret of Mary and Treatise on True Devotion, by Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort.) They are coming to you completely loaded with grace, for since the feast of Saint Joseph, I have faithfully prayed for you every day... Mary is much more interested in your future than you yourself could ever be."

Now that is NOT about marriage, is it?  That was not her main goal in going there.  That's what bugs me about the rumors.  Anyway, he did express to her his frustration at not being married.  He also wanted a wife that held his VERY strong Roman Catholic views and deep religious convictions. So, the nun, Veronica O'Brien, went back to Ireland and thought and prayed about it. She then offered to help him MEET a nice Roman Catholic girl. Baudouin said he wanted a Spanish girl because the country was more devout than in northern Europe.  So, she went there and through her Catholic connections, she came across the name of Fabiola. She met Fabiola and went to her apartment (by then Fab had moved out because she was - believe it or not - sorta modern).  When in the apartment she supposedly saw a picture on the wall that she had dreamed about.  This is where I lose the story because I just can't relate in that type of divine sign stuff.  So, when she saw the picture, she felt like Fabiola was the one. 

She told Fabiola she was on a mission to find a nice girl to introduce to the young King of Belgium.  Fabiola flipped out and thought it was a cruel joke. She would have nothing of it until the Nuncio (Papal ambassador) in Madrid talked to her and said it was no joke.  She reluctantly agreed to meet Baudouin.  Their people must have really loved them because they kept quiet about everything like it was a war secret or something. People act like the church arranged the marriage, but as you can see, the church arranged the introduction. From there, the information is sketchy, except to say that they met at least a few times...some of them at Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral (famous for Marian apparitions), the popular Roman Catholic pilgrimage destination in Lourdes, France. Baudouin (and Fabiola) didn't do anything quickly or on a whim. They were very sober and intentional about taking on the institution of marriage. 

So they went there at least two times, and Baudouin went there on his own also seeking direction through his faith. He slept in the grotto (cave) there that is so popular you have to make reservations before being allowed to stay there over night. There is a bit of information that states the two were driving back from Lourdes when Fabiola said let's pray the rosary.  After doing so (maybe she for strength, I don't know), she said to Baudouin that she would give up her life in Spain, family, work and not look back and marry him.  It seems as though he asked her more than once, because she said, supposedly (however sure we can be) "this time it is yes."

All of this took place very quickly.  I think he met the nun, Veronica O'Brien, in the spring.  He was going to announce his engagement in July, but things exploded in the Belgium Congo so he waited until September and they were married December 15th of that year, 1960.

Fabiola had turned down previous requests for marriage, supposedly.  Certainly Baudouin had the pick of Europe as a reigning King, and he wasn't bad lookin' either - or obnoxious - or drunk, etc. I personally would NEVER buy the line that they were directed to marry.  I think after they met they probably had so much in common and such similar views that it just clicked very quickly. My husband and I met August, 1996 and were engaged December 31st of that same year. That's pretty quick too.

The other reason I dislike the "arranged marriage" line is because I really don't see any difference between a friend setting you up on a blind date or royals meeting young eligible women from other royal houses. This was the same, except the introduction was made through the church. This makes so much sense to me because of Baudouin's deep faith and religious convictions.

Anyway, that's what I know of it. It hasn't helped that whenever they were asked about meeting, the two of them would say it would be a story to tell their children, but they never had any, so now this mythology has sprung up around the issue. Hope that helps.  Beer
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esther angeline

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« Reply #56 on: November 23, 2013, 06:25:41 PM »

Many thanks to you dear Lello!  I have always been intrigued after I saw her wedding gown.  That gown was and is the most beautiful of all wedding gowns.
I don't know if you know this or not but Jackie Kennedy loved that gown so much that she had Oleg Cassini make a near duplicate for her to wear to the Gala the night before the Inauguration January 19,1961.  She had him simplify it without fur.  After he made it, she wished she could wear it to the Inaugural Ball.  But she had already commissioned a gown from Bergdorf Goodman and did not feel like she could go back on her word.
I wish I could post photos but the " Fabiola" gown can be seen if you google Jackie and her gowns.
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My13

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« Reply #57 on: November 24, 2013, 06:09:50 PM »

I appreciate you guys telling me that so much, because I wasn't sure if there was any interest in this subject. I really am inspired by their story and I appreciate the chance to round out the information here available on this couple and their story.  So, many thanks again.  Hug

Lots of people, including me, become more interested as we learn more, even if we don't have the time or language skills to research everything ourselves. So I truly appreciate your hard work tracking down all the pictures, videos, and information and your awesome educational posts. Star

Thanks so much for filling out the "how they met" story! I'd heard of the nun's involvement, which sounded a little weird to me - now it makes more sense. Grin

If they truly met just a few times, it seems like a big risk to get married IMHO, but as you said, maybe they just clicked right away. It's interesting how Baudouin felt it was necessary to look for a foreign (Spanish) woman, even though most Belgian women are Catholics too and I'm sure some of them were devout.
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lellobeetle

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« Reply #58 on: November 25, 2013, 12:16:06 AM »

To my knowledge that was his only direction in terms of finding a mate. He wanted a Spaniard that was extremely devout.  He never said hair color, height, weight, background, social position, etc.  In a letter to the King, Veronica O'Brien described Fabiola as “good looking and striking.” So, he did have information that she wasn't ugly or dull. But regarding the specifics of their pre-marriage romance, Cardinal Suenens suddenly becomes very discreet when describing the blind date he had helped arrange: “It is inappropriate to describe how roses burst and bloom.”

Baudouin would say about Fabiola that: "What I like best about her, is her humility, her trust in the Most Blessed Virgin, and her openness... I know that she will always make me love God more and more." I don't think it can be overstated how this man didn't just have faith, he didn't know how to even exist outside the continual state of study, prayer and self reflection. The palace in Laeken had a priest and they both went to mass every single day. I also found out that when he traveled they would find the closest RC parish and he'd attend there.  Even when he traveled to China he still had mass because unbeknownst to the Chinese officials, they included a RC priest in the delegation. He and Fabiola then had mass in the Belgium consulate and the diplomats were given strict instructions that it was a private matter and, of course, not to breathe a word. I also read: He lived in the rhythm of the liturgy, noting in his journal a thought drawn from the Mass texts. He regularly approached the Sacrament of Penance and often made weekend retreats with the queen.

This is another reason why I truly don't believe they were an arranged marriage, because that holy sacrament was just too important to trivialize in that fashion. They were in lock step in their spiritual lives and philosophy. Here's a passage from one of his spiritual journals in which he wrote daily on his prayers and reflections: "Today, I will try to be particularly attentive to all those the Lord places on my path.... God does not ask us to be expert in all sorts of fields, from music to politics, but, guided by His Spirit, to love men and women with His Love, to look at them with His eyes, to hear them with His ears, to speak to them with His words. Lord, we desire this, Fabiola and I, with all our souls."

In Cardinal Danneels' homily on Baudouin at his funeral he said, "King Baudouin had his secret: it was his God, Whom he was madly in love with and by Whom he knew himself so loved. Under the foliage of his public and political activities flowed a calm and hidden spring: it was his life in God... While the king served men, he did not cease thinking about God. In each human face that presented itself to him, he discerned the face of Christ." This is also why I believe everyone went to his funeral.  He was not particularly monarchical. He was a spiritual man who happened to have a job in public relations, hospitality and as a chamber of commerce representative. That's how I like to look at it.

His spiritual mentor, Cardinal Suenens, wrote that Baudouin once confided his purpose in being King: "To love my country, to pray for my country, and to suffer for my country."

And in that diary, after his death, this prayer was found:

Lord, make us suffer with the suffering of others.
Lord, let us never again keep our happiness to ourselves.
Make us share the agony of all suffering humanity.
And deliver us from ourselves, if that is in accordance with your will.
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« Reply #59 on: November 25, 2013, 12:22:59 AM »

The late King's journey of faith is a remarkable one.  It's not something that I feel on the same level as Baudouin, but I can respect his devotion to his faith and his attempt at living a life that reflected that belief.
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