Queen Fabiola in the Hospital for Almost Four Weeks
The New Year has not treated the Dowager Queen of Belgium so kindly. In the beginning of the year, Her Majesty has undergone surgery of the thyroid gland (while under hypnosis). Not even one week later, on 17 January, Fabiola was admitted to the Hospital of St. John, this time with a severe case of pneumonia (or more correctly, bronchopneumonia). The Queen spent more than three weeks at the Intensive Care department of the hospital. After two weeks, rumours started circulating that the Queen also suffered from an MRSA infection. But after 24 days of battling against her illness, the Queen was allowed to leave Intensive Care. She will remain in the hospital, and her treatment will continue.
The Court was very sparing with official statements concerning the Queen’s health. This, combined with the apparent lack of visitors “especially during the first week” led to speculations and suggestions that the poor Queen was left there all alone. After those first hints, the Court was quick to announce that Her Majesty was not allowed to have visitors. And once visitors were allowed, not only her Belgian relatives came to visit Fabiola, but even her sister Maria Luz came all the way from Spain.
As sparing as the Court was with statements, so profuse was the Press with death announcements. Several newspaper websites and even the (usually) authoritative news website of the Flemish state television announced the Queen’s sad transition from this life to the next without any official sources to back up the story. As careful and reluctant as they were to announce King Baudouin’s death fifteen years ago, so willing were they now to proclaim his widow dead.
Not only the press was unforgivingly hard on the sick Queen. On newspaper websites, many people entered comments on the articles concerning Queen Fabiola’s health, which were less than flattering. Some comments were so outrageous and disrespectful they actually had to be deleted and the articles monitored and moderated full time. Some dragged in the dotation discussion, begrudging an old and sick lady, who gave the best years of her life to the country she became queen of, every euro or cent. Talk about kicking someone when they’re down…
But luckily the pessimists were proven wrong. Fabiola has fought hard to regain her health, and is now slowly but steadily recovering, with the best wishes of everyone here at the Royal Forums.Belgium
Tagged Health, Hospital, Media, Queen Fabiola of Belgium.