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“It’s Not Fair”: Queen Fabiola’s Spanish Relatives Surprised As Palace Repeats She Left Everything To Charity

  January 27, 2016 at 12:47 pm by

The last few days several newspapers and the Royal Palace in Brussels revealed new information about Queen Fabiola’s testament. Rumours that the Queen -who died in December 2014- left most of her belongings to charity were repeated.

The Spanish newspaper  ‘El Mundo’ interviewed a Spanish nephew of the late Queen. He -anonimously- complained that the palace is slow in handling his aunts’ inheritance. He also added that the family was surprised to learn that all assets will be left to charity and that the family will recieve ‘nothing at all’. ‘It is not fair’, he continues. He adds that his relatives ‘do not want the money (…) but a photo, something of sentimental value from somebody who was dear to us’.

Queen Fabiola attending Belgium’s National Day on 21 July 2013

Goya and Tiepolo

The nephew also claims that several relatives are considering to demand their share of Queen Fabiola’s belongings and eventually may send an appeal to the Belgian palace. The family is mainly curious about items that Queen Fabiola inherited from her own parents, don Gonzalo de Mora y Fernandés, 4th marqués de Casa Riera and his wife doña Blanca de Aragón y Carrillo de Albornoz. At the time her father was considered one of the wealthiest people in Spain.

Among the items that Queen Fabiola inherited from her own family are furniture, paintings and artifacts that once graced the walls and floors of the Palacio Zurbano, the Mora family’s former city palace on de Calle de Alcada in Madrid. The art collection of Queen Fabiola’s father was well known and it contained works of Goya, Tiepolo and several important Flemish masters. Apart from the artworks, Fabiola also inherited several plots of land and buildings in Madrid, Pamplona and Aiguamurcia (Tarragona).

Sole Heiress

The Queen was also the sole heiress of her uncle and godfather don Fernando de Aragón y Carrillo de Albornoz, who died in 1984. Don Fernando was a great art collector and his enormous city palace on the Calle de Fernando el Santo in Madrid was filled with artworks. Although the most important items -works of Goya and Velásquez- were donated to the Prado museum in Madrid, the bulk of his possessions went to his goddaughter Fabiola.

Some of Queen Fabiola’s 37 Spanish nephews and nieces during her funeral in Brussels on 12 December 2014.

More clarity in three weeks

Last week the Flemish newspaper ‘Het Nieuwsblad’ revealed that there are still between five and nine people ‘working for Fabiola’. The palace was forced to clarify the matter and stated that these people were working on the finalization of Queen Fabiola’s testament. They expect that their work will be done in three weeks.

The palace also confirmed once again that all of Queen Fabiola’s remaining possessions are left to the ‘Hulpfonds’,  a foundation that King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola received in 1960. At the moment the fund helps out 560 Belgian families, who annually receive a payment of two hundred Euro.

Yesterday Belgium’s Prime Minister Michel discussed the matter in parlament. He revealed that Queen Fabiola’s staff is not paid by the state. Their salaries are provided for from assets of the late Queen as her dotation was stopped in 2014. The Prime Minister also added that Stuyvenberg Castle -where the Queen lived since her husbands death in 1993- will revert to the Royal Trust. The trust will decide on the future of the building.


It is still unclear what will happen to the jewels that belonged to Queen Fabiola. According to newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ these jewels were distributed before Fabiola’s death and most were given to Queen Mathilde. The newspaper fails to mention a source for their statement. What is clear is that Queen Mathilde has recently been wearing the Wolfers diamond tiara in Poland and she has been seen with several other items that previously belonged to Fabiola. Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein, née Princess of Luxembourg has also been spotted wearing earrings that belonged to her late aunt. It is still a mystery what will happen to the Spanish tiara that the late Queen received from the Spanish dictator Franco. If ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ is correct, we may expect the tiara on Queen Mathilde in the near future.

Queen Fabiola wearing the Spanish tiara ánd the Wolfers tiara as necklace in 1961.


The explanation of the palace is far from clear. Although the palace has stated repeatedly that all assets were left to a charity, it is clear that Queen Fabiola had been distributing items during her life time. It is also hard to believe that she left personal items of her husband to a charity -which will most likely put it on auction- instead of to the royal archives. We will have to wait three weeks before the palace will reveal more.

Sources: El Mundo, Het Nieuwsblad, Het Laatste Nieuws.

Read more about Queen Fabiola’s inheritance: here.

Read more about Queen Fabiola’s  Spanish family: here.

Read more about Stuyvenberg Castle: here.

Read more about Queen Fabiola’s jewels: here.

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