Queen Fabiola

1928 - 2014 (Age 86)




BRUSSELS (AP) — Queen Fabiola, who was inseparable from her husband, the late King Baudouin, and popular across much of Belgium, died on Friday. She was 86.

The royal palace said she died at her Stuyvenberg castle in Brussels, and no cause of death was given. However, she had used a wheelchair, was increasingly frail looking and limited her public appearances more and more.

King Philippe said he was left with "great sadness" when he heard of the death of his aunt.

Spanish-born Fabiola was very close with King Baudouin, and they shared a deep belief in Roman Catholic values. The couple was reclusive and remained childless following several miscarriages.

Still, Queen Fabiola was popular and often referred to as the "Queen of all Belgians." After the king died in 1993, she served as Belgium's dowager queen.

King Baudouin was enveloped in a major controversy in 1990, when he refused to give a parliament-approved bill legalizing abortion his royal assent, one of his constitutional duties.

Some partly blamed Fabiola's strong Catholicism for Baudouin's opposition to a law he was required to sign. He stepped down for one day to allow the government to pass the law before he was reinstated as king.

Even after his death, Fabiola's devotion to Baudouin continued.

"For me, he remains a unique gift. Today, tomorrow and forever," she said during a remembrance ceremony 10 years after Baudouin's death. "The more time goes by, the more he makes me live," she said.

At the funeral of her husband, Queen Fabiola wore white and asked those attending the funeral not to wear black or come veiled.

Baudouin's brother and successor, King Albert II, praised Fabiola when he took the crown, days after Baudouin's death.

"The appeal of the king was just as much the appeal of a couple in which husband and wife supported each other in good as well as in bad times," said Albert. Often Fabiola drew as much attention as the ruling queen, especially late in life when she became embroiled in a financial scandal concerning her heritage and was publicly rebuked by the prime minister.

During the European financial crisis, which began in 2009, Queen Fabiola, then in her early 80s, became involved in a tax scandal when she was accused of trying to shield from authorities some of her fortune, which had been amassed partly with taxpayer money.

In a rare public rebuke of the Belgian monarchy — and Fabiola — then- Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo told parliament that he "shared" the strong emotions the scandal had caused among ordinary citizens. He called the queen's plan to create a private fund to deal with her inheritance ethically flawed, even if it was strictly legal.

Fabiola denied it was a tax dodge but acknowledged she had "taken the political consequences insufficiently into account" and said she would annul the fund.


RAF CASERT, Associated Press

Follow Raf Casert on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/rcasert

Copyright © 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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John 11:33 says: "When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping and groaning, he groaned within himself and became troubled." Jesus expressed tears when his friend Lazarus died, he knows how it feels to lose a dead loved one and he understands what you and your family are experiencing. May this bring you and your family comfort in this time of need. cjp (fla.)

May you increase my greatness and surround and comfort me. (Ps 71:21) May these words of wisdom from the Bible that can help us all to see that we need God. Queen Fabiola had faith in the Bible's message. May your good thoughts of Queen fabiola bring back wonderful memories of good times. My sincere condolence!

Truly a self-defined loving wife and devoted queen best describes Queen Fabiola. Her life story is a source of inspiration to me and is also well-noted in God's memory. She will be remembered for times to come as one loved, valued, and missed! Hoping all loved ones and subjects left behind find comfort in the treasured memories and the guaranteed hope found in God's word.

With greatest grief we have learned of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Fabiola. In this time of sadness the Gazprom Representative Office in the Kingdom of Belgium and it's staff would like to express our deepest condolences to the Royal Family and the people of Belgium. We are certain that her Majesty shall stay in the hearts of many and we join by your side with the great feeling of sorrow.

Head of the Gazprom Andrey Kuznetsov
Representative Office in the...

For the Royal Family's who loss Queen Fabiola I feel your pain & sadness! Even if it was the Queen her self;-( all my Prayers & heart as well. ;-( I'm sorry for you sweet loss of this sweet Queen;-(

I will miss seeing you at the Belgium royal gatherings say hello to Baudouin I for me.

My sincere condolences to the family. I hope that your many fond memories will comfort you and that the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts –