As for the King's death the story goes.....The king often liked to spend a couple of days rock climbing at Ardennes, but on this particular day, he had to attend a race meeting at six in the evening and it was decided that he was only to travel the one hours drive to the cliffs at Marche-les-Dames nr Namur. The exercise would keep him in trim for his more serious climbing in the Alps !!
The King and his Valet, had spent about an hours climbing and was returning to the car ready to depart back to Brussels, when the King decided it was still early and and told his valet to wait at the car and he would be back at 4pm, he would take one more ascent.But the King did not return at the appointed time, some hours passed and still no sign of the King. The valet phoned the palace and Captain Dixmude, the king's officier d'ordonnance set out at once followed by the Comte de Grunne and the King's doctor. The Queen was not told, as for as she knew, her husband was at the race meeting presenting prizes!.
For some four hours they searched for the king in the dark freezing conditons with no luck. at midnight they decided to involve four of Belgiums leading climbers in the search. Whilst waiting for their arrival, Captain Dixmude, tripped over a rope to which the King's body was attached. He was lying spread eagled with a deep dash to his head. The cause of the kings fall was due to the rock on which he rested had given way. The King had hit his head against the side of the pinnacle whilst he fell. Death was instantaneous.
When told of his death, the Queen (who knew by now he was missing), sat motionless with her eyes close for twenty minutes !