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  #21  
Old 03-09-2015, 01:21 PM
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T.M.King Badouin and Queen Fabiola of Belgium attend the unveiling of a new bell inside the Basilica of Koekelberg in 1964.

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  #22  
Old 04-14-2015, 04:35 PM
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Baudouin & Fabiola blog down due to my mix-up in hosting situation, but got it sorted and waiting for Network Solutions to redeploy the site.

I got the Baudouin book Discourse to the Nation and it's a beautiful book. I recommend this book if you're interested in this couple.
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:15 PM
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I wanted to talk about the recent news released about Cardinal Danneels trying to influence King Baudouin to sign the abortion legislation in 1990.

Article

This is not about the topic of abortion and whether it's right or wrong. What I'm interested in is the (in my opinion) very wrong notion that during his lifetime various people or entities had major influence and sway over King Baudouin's actions and beliefs.

At various times, there were people saying he was under the influence of Sister Veronica O'Brien, Cardinal Suenens, Cardinal Danneels, Liliane de Rethy, his father, Fabiola, the Catholic church and the Roman Catholic Charismatic movement.

I have always seen something completely different than the folks who talk of him being easily swayed. I found him to be quite rigid and solid in his beliefs and actions. He was very deliberate in everything down to how he comported himself physically and his gate.

Perhaps I bring something to the table that others do not see? This is a possibility, and that's why I wanted to start this discussion, if it is of interest to other Baudouin/Fabiola followers.

No doubt Leopold had a strong influence on Baudouin and especially around the abdication and first few years. However, I see beginning with his 1955 trip to the Congo and peaking during his 1959 tour of the USA a blossoming of his self esteem and confidence. More confidence than self esteem.

Then, we come to the time of his looking for a wife. He did not allow himself to be influenced by his grandmother Elizabeth or others into marrying any of the numerous available Princesses of Europe. And, with just about every issue, the tabloids had him associated with different various princesses. He wanted a deeply religious woman and preferably of Spanish heritage and he was firmly set on this. When the opportunity presented itself, he told Suenens about his dilemma of finding a suitable wife. He was absolutely not willing to compromise his standards. The church assisted with networking to bring about an introduction to Fabiola, and I have little doubt that if they had not had the chemistry, he would have kept looking.

Important to point out here is that Leopold and Liliane had absolutely NO IDEA of his engagement. They learned at the same time the country learned about the engagement of the King. He was his own man and kept mainly his own confidence, with the help of Cardinal Suenens and Sister Veronica, who both acted as sort of spiritual mentors or a spiritual director - some may know the full meaning of that term.

Then we enter the phase when people think Fabiola had control of Baudouin - again, I think this is a major deception. While it is said that Liliane and Fabiola took a disliking to one another virtually immediately, I believe it was Baudouin who was most rigid about his dislike of how things developed between the two couples (Liliane/Leopold and Baudouin/Fabiola). After Liliane took all the furniture out of the palace and Baudouin/Fabiola returned from their honeymoon to empty rooms, Baudouin had little to no contact with his father and step-mother.

There are many other stories that I believe show Baudouin's quite stubborn streak in being fairly immune to influence when he had his mind set on something, but nothing shows this as clearly as the abortion issue.

So, it seems now that Danneels tried to convince the King to give royal assent to the liberalization bill. I have even read a bit here and there that even Fabiola, while not speaking to the right or wrong, did remind Baudouin of his constitutional responsibility of providing assent. I do not, however, know if this is true or not of Fabiola's role. But this neither here nor there. The article is about Danneels. No matter what you think of the actual issue, it is a very clear illustration of the strength of character which King Baudouin drew on in dealing with the abortion question.

I believe I read somewhere that he said something like 'how can I face my God knowing that I helped in the destruction of his creation.'

Again, this discussion is not about the issue itself, but about the concept that has always been thrown around about Baudouin that he was easily influenced by various people or organizations (the church) during his lifetime.

I believe this to be quite false and I find him very set in his beliefs and practices.

Any thoughts on this?
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  #24  
Old 04-28-2015, 07:48 PM
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Hi Laura,

RE: the notorious furniture incident where the Princess de Rethy is alleged to have cleared Laeken, Fabiola's biographer Guy Michelland says that rumors of animosity between the two couples was exaggerated. When Fabiola was pregnant with her first child in 1961, Liliane sent over an exquisite layette set to Laeken according to the book La Reine Blanche.

But clearly, the relationship between Baudouin and Liliane changed drastically after the wedding.

No, I have never believed that King Baudouin was a puppet with the pope, the Cardinal and the queen pulling his strings. He was a very stubborn man even when he was very young. Especially after his wedding when his self-confidence blossomed he could not swayed when he was set on a course.
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:29 AM
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According to former prime minister Viscount Gaston Eyskens, cardinal Danneels actually tried to influence the king the other way, namely to sign the abortion bill. The king obviously did not listen and refused to do his democratic duty.

Olivier Defrance, a historian who publishes books at lannoo publishing house, is doing research for a book about the rift between Argenteuil and Laeken. He claims to have found papers that show that it was Laeken who actually initiated the rift, shortly after Fabiola's arrival on the scene. King Leopold thought that cardinal Suenens had played a large role in this rift (as did the women) and always tried to evade meeting Suenens, whom he disliked immensely.

It is also clear that Baudouin surrounded himself with ultra catholic french speaking courtiers and priests. Being surrounded by such a group for decades must have influenced him. This already happened early in his reign when he was young, impressionable, naive, vulnerable and lonely. They also selected his wife for him. It seems that of the two Fabiola was the less devout one; she seldom disagreed with her husbands choices (apart from the time when he wanted her to abort a pregnancy and she refused).
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  #26  
Old 04-29-2015, 07:41 AM
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King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola has to shorten their honeymoon because of the political situation in Belgium.

Princess Lilian who started to cleared laeken during their honey moon had her plans shortened too.

It was said a lot of things , Baudouin and Fabiola had to order a bed in a well known shop because there was to furniture at all?

The engagement of Baudouin was in September 1960 , his wedding december. Dona Fabiola did her Joyeuses Entrées in the belgian most important cities and they was not a lot of time to arrange two royal glittering Events (the very last ones) , the Civil Wedding in the salle du Trône and the religious Wedding in the Cathedral.
Princess Lilian gave Fabiola a brooch she wore for her Joyeuse Entrée in Brussels and then no never more.

During these 3 Months the relationship between Baudouin and Leopold III was normal. The only incident wad that the day of the wedding Dona Fabiola's Mother and Princess Lilian wore the same color dresses and same material !

It was when they came back from their honeymoon that all changed : Fabiola against Lilian.

I don't remember if for the christenings of Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent , King Leopold III and Lilian attended?

I met Olivier Defrance , he is for the moment one of our best french speaking historian.
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  #27  
Old 04-29-2015, 09:16 PM
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Marengo - It's my understanding that the church absolutely did NOT select a wife for him. They selected a suitable young woman to his specifications (spanish and religious) whom he could MEET. He didn't blindly go into the marriage because the church told him to.

I do not see what you see when looking at the same set of facts. But then again that's what makes us special is our own particular points of view.
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  #28  
Old 05-19-2015, 11:11 PM
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The life of the deceased King of the Belgians Baudouin will be captured in a film.

VTM television network announced that two French film producers are making a movie of the life of King Baudouin I of the Belgians.

French actor Pierre Niney, who was awarded a César this year, considered the Gallic Oscar, for his role in the film about the fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent, has already been selected to play Baudouin.

Casting followed by filming will take place next year.
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  #29  
Old 05-19-2015, 11:21 PM
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Awesome, I've always felt his life would make a heckuva movie! I hope they don't go the sleaze/innuendo route over his relationship with his step-mother Liliane Princesse de Rethy.

I think it's interesting that they waited until Queen Fabiola's death to attempt this, which leads me to believe it will indeed include material that she would not have approved of. I wonder who they will cast to play her?

THANKS for the heads up, Laura!
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  #30  
Old 05-20-2015, 01:37 AM
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It will be very interesting movie and agree with the Moonmaiden23 do not going only to the gossips.
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  #31  
Old 05-20-2015, 01:58 AM
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the film will be about the abortion question in 1990 and the institutional crisis that the king caused by refusing to do his constitutional duty.

Franse producenten plannen film over Boudewijn en de abortuskwestie - Actualiteit Cinema - Cinenews.nl
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:37 AM
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His refusal is exactly what makes him different than all the other royals who just blindly sign anything and everything put in front of them. For many, that's what makes the man great, not a scoundrel.
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  #33  
Old 05-20-2015, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by episcogal View Post
His refusal is exactly what makes him different than all the other royals who just blindly sign anything and everything put in front of them. For many, that's what makes the man great, not a scoundrel.
He may be "great" but in essence the King has not understood his role. The democratically elected Chamber of Representatives and the democratically elected Senate have approved a Bill which was initiated by the democratically elected Government. All constitutional procedures, from draft to final Act were followed precizely.

Then one man, whom nevertheless solemnly pledged to maintain and upheld the Constitution, who was not elected by anybody and has no public mandate, steps on the brakes, purely because of HIS conscience.

In all modern constitutional handbooks is explained that the final royal (or presidential assent) is no personal opinion of the head of state but a confirmation that all has passed correctly and that the Act is -seen the result of the votings- an espression of the democratic will of the people. Because King Baudouin was King for so long, he had a great personal prestige. People looked up to him and ministers were wringling in all directions to find a loophole, so that the Act would go through but the King was 'spared'.

In Luxembourg Grand Duke Henri refused to sign a Bill which allows euthanasia (under very, very specific circumstances). The Luxembourg Government had no any pardon for the Grand Duke: immediately a revision of the Constitution was initiated (and approved by Parliament -unanimously!!!-) which removed the Grand Duke's role in the legislative process. No longer the Grand Duke has to sign Acts and Decrees. Now he only 'promulgates' them (by publication he requests all authorities to execute the Act or Decree).

Especially in divided Belgium, Baudouin's escapades could have led to a fall of the monarchy. And what for? The Abortion Act would have been enforced anyway, to the left or to the right, with the King or without the King. The King's stance was short-sighted and showed that he thought he was still Leopold I in 1840 or so. Even the Vatican requested the King to come back on earth, with both feet on the ground.
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  #34  
Old 05-20-2015, 10:50 AM
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We must agree to disagree. I come to this discussion from a single-minded agreement with King Baudouin - it is, indeed, the hook which drew me into learning more about his life and having an even deeper appreciation for his tremendous spiritual life and example to modern Christians.

I am not Roman Catholic, but I clearly see how one segment of the country - Northern folks of Flemish/Dutch background seem less understanding of King Baudouin and what motivated him.

Some act like he almost delighted in causing trouble within the country. I think that didn't even enter into his mind. He could not answer to his God with that on his hands and spirit. End of story.

To my thinking, he was more brave than any reigning monarch standing up for what he knows in his soul to be right.

I have only respect for that.
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:15 AM
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Well, if all monarchs would 'stand up' for any whim they have, we may find ourselves without any monarchies pretty soon. And quite rightly so. Baudouin was not the king of an autocratic state but of a democratic one. As Duc explained, his signature means that the legislative proces was correct. It did not mean that he agreed with the topic. I am sure Baudouin signed lots of other laws that he did not agree with.

Although he may not have betrayed his conscience he did betray his people. I am glad that none of his successors has continued on this path.
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:33 PM
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Staff still working for Queen more than a year after her death
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:40 PM
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Thanks for that. Among other things the article says that she left her jewelry to Queen Mathilde.
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Old 01-26-2016, 04:01 AM
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Earlier reports about the distribution of Q. Fabiola's inheritance seem to be correct. The palace re-confimered that nothing will go to her SPanish relatives. 'All earthly goods that she posessed are going to charity'.

Last week a Spanish nephew of Fabiola complained about the slow proces of finalizing the inheritance. The palace said that it will be done within three weeks. The nephew also said that he thought that the family would get nothing as all would go to charity, namely to the hulppfonds. This is a charity founded by Baudouin and Fabiola in 1960 to help Belgians who are in need. 560 families receives a check of 200 euros each year. The proceeds mainly come from the entry fees of the royal glasshouses in Laeken.

Familie Fabiola erft niets: alles naar het goede doel - HLN.be

Unsurprisingly in a Flemish newspaper the comments are acid as usual. 'Our money' according to some (although I doubt they would consider the saleries of other civil servants as belonging to the tax payer) and some simply do not believe it or say it is a plot to avoid succession tax.

Others expect that Q. Fabiola already distributed most of her possessions during her life time, so that there will be little to share. Tja... in three weeks we will know more. I do hope that anything with a royal connection will have been donated to a royal foundation or something. I do not expect that Q. Fabiola wanted to see some items belinging to her husband in a public auction f.e.
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Old 01-26-2016, 07:18 AM
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This Visite to the Nuns by false King Baudouin was a great story .
A past Minister of State Guy Spitaels and a friend of mine were among them.
It was because they were all young men that the atendance was suspicious.

It was said that King baudouin was not angry at all and there was no sentence.
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Old 01-26-2016, 07:20 AM
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The late Queen Fabiola is the best employer we never has. Still more than a year she passed away 3 to 8 persons are still working at Styvenberg Casle.
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