Belgian Royals Commemorate Dead in Laeken

  February 16, 2012 at 9:39 am by

Earlier today in Laeken, the Belgian Royal Family were present at the annual mass commemorating the deceased members of the family. The mass took place at the Church of Our Lady of Laeken (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwkerk in Dutch, Eglise Notre-Dame in French).

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The entire royal family was present – King Albert II and Queen Paola, their children and their spouses, Queen Fabiola, who was accompanied by Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein, Princess Léa and Princess Marie Esmeralda. Also in attendance were Archduke Carl Christian and Archduchess Marie Astrid of Austria, whose mother – Grand Duchess Joséphine Charlotte of Luxembourg – was born a Princess of Belgium, the sister of the current King.

The Church of Our Lady of Laeken was built between 1854 and 1909, and is the home of the Belgian royal crypt. The crypt is the resting place of Belgium’s five Kings – Leopold I, Leopold II, Albert I, Leopold III and Baudouin – as well as other members of the royal family.

The mass came on the same day that Het Nieuwsblad and other Belgian media outlets reported that King Albert last year distributed 110,000€ to some 500 people (200€ each) who sent ‘begging’ letters to the Royal Palace. According to the report, over 10,000 letters are sent to the palace asking the King for money or other forms of assistance. Each letter is reviewed by the appropriate group within the originating municipality, before recommendations are made to the King, who then distributes money from the ‘Article Association of the Queen’ fund. The reports also state that this amount is up from previous years.

Filed under Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg
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