Queen Paola With Grand Children To the Circus

  October 29, 2009 at 7:41 am by

Yesterday Queen Paola of the Belgians took four of her grand children to the circus Bouglione (near the Anatomium) in Brussels to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “L’Oeuvre des Berceaux Princesse Paola / Het Werk Der Wiegjes Prinses Paola” .

View the image at Zimbio

The queen, accompanied by her daughter princess Astrid and her daughter-in-law princess Claire, took four of her grand children along: princess Laeticia Marie (daughter of princess Astrid) and princess Louise, prince Aymeric and prince Nicholas (children of prince Laurent and princess Claire). Apart from the royals many other attended the special show. For the event 1000 children from underpriviledged families were invited.

L’Oeuvre des Berceaux Princesse Paola (the work of the cradles of princess Paola) was founded in 1876. The original name of the charity was ‘the foundation of the blacks’. In order to raise money and save the nursery, a group of well-off gentlemen decided to create “African Academy”; they disguised themselves as black people to avoid recognition in restaurants they frequented as clients. They blackened their faces and put on costumes of white top hat, a black coat and bright-coloured baggy trousers. The “Academy” was very successful and raised enough money to save the nursery. Over the years, raising money for charity in this way has become one of the finest (and funniest) folklore traditions of Brussels.

View the image at gva.be

In 1959, shortly after her marriage, Princess Paola accepted the post of Honorary President of the “African Academy”, which was re-named “L’Oeuvre des Berceaux Princesse Paola”. The foundation helps children from underprivileged environment; the help manifests itself in covering medical expenses, acquiring necessary food, clothing, school supplies, etc.

A gallery of pictures is available at the website of the Gazet van Antwerpen, click here. A thread about the current events of the Belgian royal family an be found here.

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