Baudouin of Belgium
Baudouin photographed in 1960
|King of the Belgians|
|Reign||17 July 1951 – 31 July 1993|
7 September 1930|
Stuyvenberg Castle, Laeken, Brussels, Belgium
31 July 1993 (aged 62)|
Villa Astrida, Motril, Spain
|Burial||Church of Our Lady of Laeken|
|Consort||Doña Fabiola de Mora y Aragón (m. 1960)|
|Father||Leopold III of Belgium|
|Mother||Astrid of Sweden|
Baudouin (Dutch: Boudewijn, German: Balduin; 7 September 1930 – 31 July 1993) reigned as the fifth King of the Belgians, following his father's abdication, from 1951 until his death in 1993. He was the last Belgian king to be sovereign of Congo.
He was the elder son of King Leopold III (1901–83) and his first wife, Princess Astrid of Sweden (1905–35). Because he had no children with his wife, Fabiola de Mora, the crown passed to his younger brother, Albert II (formerly Prince of Liège), following his death.
- 1 Ascent to the throne
- 2 Marriage
- 3 Notable events
- 4 Religious influences
- 5 Baudouin and the murder of Patrice Lumumba
- 6 Death, succession, and legacy
- 7 Honours
- 8 Ancestry
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 Bibliography
- 12 External links
Ascent to the throne
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Baudouin was born in the Château du Stuyvenberg, near Laeken, Brussels, in Belgium, in 1930, the son of Prince Leopold, the then Duke of Brabant, and his first wife, Astrid of Sweden. His father became King of the Belgians, as Leopold III, in 1934 and Prince Baudouin became Duke of Brabant. Baudouin's mother died in 1935 in an automobile accident.
Part of Leopold III's unpopularity was the result of a second marriage in 1941 to Mary Lilian Baels, an English-born Belgian commoner, later known as Princess de Réthy. More controversial had been Leopold's decision to surrender to Nazi Germany during the Second World War, when Belgium was invaded in 1940; many Belgians questioned his loyalties, but a commission of inquiry exonerated him of treason after the war. Though reinstated in a plebiscite, the controversy surrounding Leopold led to his abdication.
King Leopold III requested the Belgian Government and the Parliament to approve a law delegating his royal powers to his son, Prince Baudouin, who took the constitutional oath before the United Chambers of the Belgian Parliament as Prince Royal on 11 August 1950. He ascended the throne and became the fifth King of the Belgians upon taking the constitutional oath on 17 July 1951, one day following his father's abdication.
The Congolese called the young king Mwana Kitoko ("beautiful boy").
During Baudouin's reign the colony of Belgian Congo became independent. During the last ceremonial inspection of the Force Publique, the royal sabre of the king was stolen during a parade by Ambroise Boimbo. The photograph, taken by Robert Lebeck, was widely published in world newspapers, with some seeing the act as a humiliation for the king. The next day the king attended the official reception; he gave a speech that received a blistering response by Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba.
Baudouin attended the State funeral of John F. Kennedy in November 1963, as the head of state of Belgium, and one of many dignitaries at that state funeral, along with Paul-Henri Spaak, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and former three-time Prime Minister of Belgium.
In 1990, when Baudouin refused to sign into law a bill permitting abortion, the cabinet assumed the power to promulgate the law while he was treated as "unable to govern" for twenty-four hours.
In 1976, on the 25th anniversary of Baudouin's accession, the King Baudouin Foundation was formed, with the aim of improving the living conditions of the Belgian people.
Baudouin was a devout Roman Catholic. Through the influence of Leo Cardinal Suenens, Baudouin participated in the growing Renewal Movement and regularly went on pilgrimages to the French shrine of Paray-le-Monial.
In 1990, when a law submitted by Roger Lallemand and Lucienne Herman-Michielsens that liberalised Belgium's abortion laws was approved by Parliament, he refused to give Royal Assent to the bill. This was unprecedented; although Baudouin was de jure Belgium's chief executive, Royal Assent has long been a formality (as is the case in most constitutional and popular monarchies). However, due to his religious convictions, Baudouin asked the Government to declare him temporarily unable to reign so that he could avoid signing the measure into law. The Government under Wilfried Martens complied with his request on 4 April 1990. According to the provisions of the Belgian Constitution, in the event the King is temporarily unable to reign, the Government as a whole fulfills the role of Head of State. All members of the Government signed the bill, and the next day (5 April 1990) the Government declared that Baudouin was capable of reigning again.
Baudouin and the murder of Patrice Lumumba
In 1960 Baudouin declared the Belgian colony of Congo independent. During the declaration of independence, Baudouin delivered a highly contested speech in which he celebrated the acts of the first Belgian owner of the Congo, King Leopold II, whom he described as "a genius". In the same event on the day of the independence, the first democratically elected prime minister of Congo, Patrice Lumumba, answered in a speech that was very critical for the Belgian regime. Lumumba mentioned the killing of many Congolese, the insults and humiliations, the slavery they suffered, etc. This speech infuriated King Baudouin and started a harsh conflict between both men.
After the independence of Congo, the rich province of Katanga set up a secession that received substantial military and financial support from the Belgian government and Belgian companies with business interests in this region. King Baudouin strengthened his relationships with the Katangese politician Moise Tshombé, whom he made a knight in the order of Leopold. In the meanwhile, the Belgian government as well as the CIA supported or organized themselves plans to murder Patrice Lumumba. In 2001 a parliamentary investigation set up by the Belgian government concluded that King Baudouin, amongst others, was informed of a murder plan that had been set up by later dictator Joseph Mobutu and the Katangese rebel Moise Tshombé. Both men had agreed to the Belgian colonel Guy Weber to "neutralize Lumumba, if possible physically". The King neglecting this message was described as 'incriminating' by the parliamentary investigation, although there was no evidence found of the king having ordered the set up of these plans. Patrice Lumumba was later murdered by Congolese soldiers under Belgian command, after which a Belgian police officer by the name of Gerard Soete cut up the body of Patrice Lumumba and dissolved the corps in acid.
Death, succession, and legacy
Baudouin reigned for 42 years. He died of heart failure on 31 July 1993 in the Villa Astrida in Motril, in the south of Spain. Although in March 1992 the King had been operated for a Mitral valve prolapse in Paris, his death still came unexpectedly, and sent much of Belgium into a period of deep mourning. His death notably stopped the 1993 24 Hours of Spa sportscar race, which had reached the 15-hour mark when the news broke.
Within hours the Royal Palace gates and enclosure were covered with flowers that people brought spontaneously. A viewing of the body was held at the Royal Palace in central Brussels; 500,000 people (5% of the population) came to pay their respects. Many waited in line up to 14 hours in sweltering heat to see their King one last time. Along with other members of European royalty, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom attended the funeral (the only foreign state funeral ever attended by her in person as monarch).
Titles and Styles
- 7 September 1930 - 17 February 1934: His Royal Highness Prince Baudouin of Belgium, Count of Hainaut
- 17 February 1934 - 17 July 1951: His Royal Highness The Duke of Brabant
- 17 July 1951 - 31 July 1993: His Majesty The King of the Belgians
- Argentina: Collar of the Order of the Liberator General San Martín
- Austria: Grand Star of the Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria
- Democratic Republic of the Congo: Grand Cordon of the National Order of the Leopard
- Denmark: Knight of the Order of the Elephant
- Germany: Grand Cross Special Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- Iceland: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Falcon
- Italy: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
- Holy See:
- Sovereign Military Order of Malta: Bailiff Grand Cross of Justice of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
- Japan: Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum
- Luxembourg: Knight of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau
- Norway: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of St. Olav
- Portugal: Grand Collar of the Order of Prince Henry
- Sweden: Knight with Collar of the Royal Order of the Seraphim
- United Kingdom: Stranger Knight of the Order of the Garter
- Yugoslavia: Great Star of the Order of the Yugoslav Star
- Ethiopian Imperial Family: Knight of the Order of Solomon
- Greek Royal Family: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Redeemer
- Iranian Imperial Family:
- Italian Royal Family:
- Kings of Belgium family tree
- Crown Council of Belgium
- Royal Trust
- Herman Liebaers (Marshal of the Royal Household)
- André Molitor (private secretary)
- Jacques van Ypersele de Strihou (private secretary)
- Pierre-Yves Monette (advisor)
- King Baudouin Ice Shelf, Antarctica
- Baudouin's full name was Baudouin Albert Charles Léopold Axel Marie Gustave de Belgique (pronounced [bodwɛ̃ albɛʁ ʃaʁl leopɔld aksɛl maʁi ɡystav də bɛlʒik]) in French and Boudewijn Albert Karel Leopold Axel Marie Gustaaf van België (pronounced [ˈbʌudəʋɛin ˈɑlbərt ˈkaːrəl ˈleːjoːpɔlt ˈɑksəl maːˈri ɣʏˈstaːf fɑm ˈbɛlɣijə]) in Dutch. In isolation, the Dutch word van is pronounced [vɑn].
- "Koningin Fabiola had vijf miskramen". Nieuwsblad.be. 2008-04-21. Retrieved 2017-01-17.
- Glasenapp, Jörn (2008) '"Der Degendieb von Léopoldville. Robert Lebecks Schlüsselbild der Dekolonisation Afrikas" In Paul, Gerhard (ed.) (2008) Das Jahrhundert der Bilder: 1949 bis heute Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, pp. 242-249, ISBN 978-3-525-30012-1, in German
- "Ambroise Boimbo, "l'homme qui à humilier le Roi de Belge" au du Congo". Alterinfo.net. Retrieved 2017-01-17.
- "La photo du sabre du Roi Baudouin, le 30 juin 1960". Mbokamosika. 2009-12-20. Retrieved 2017-01-17.
- Suzanne McIntire and William E. Burns, Speeches in World History, Infobase Publishing, 2009, pp. 438-40
- Paul L. Montgomery (1990-04-05). "Belgian King, Unable to Sign Abortion Law, Takes Day Off". Belgium: New York Times. Retrieved 2017-01-17.
- Herold, Stephen. "Society of the Golden Fleece". Chevaliers De La Toison D'or - Toison espagnole (spanish fleece). La Confrérie Amicale. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
- Velde, François R. "List of the Knights of the Garter". Heraldica.
- "Belgium: Commoner for A Day, or Two". Time. 16 April 1990. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
- Verslag namens de Onderzoekscommissie van de Belgische Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers van het parlementair onderzoek met het oog op het vaststellen van de precieze omstandigheden waarin Patrice Lumumba werd vermoord en van de eventuele betrokkenheid daarbij van Belgische politici, 16 november 2001
- Lyons, Richard D. "Baudouin I, King of Belgium, Dies at 62," New York Times. August 1, 1993.
- "Baudoin wearing the orders of the Garter and Leopold". Retrieved 2017-01-17.
- "Reply to a parliamentary question" (PDF) (in German). p. 53. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
- "Baudoin wearing German honours". Retrieved 2017-01-17.
- Iceland Presidency Website Archived 2013-06-07 at the Wayback Machine., Baudoin, konungur Belgíu - Belgía - 1979-10-16 - Stórkross með keðju (= Baudouin, King of Belgians, Belgium, 16 October 1979, Grand Cross with Collar)
- http://www.gettyimages.ch/detail/nachrichtenfoto/1930könig-seit-1951mit-königin-fabiola-bei-ihrem-nachrichtenfoto/545663653#[permanent dead link]
- "Les Souverains De Belgique En Norvège Pictures". Getty Images. 1965-06-18. Retrieved 2017-01-17.
- "Baudoin wearing Spanish honours". Gettyimages.co.uk. 1978-09-26. Retrieved 2017-01-17.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-10. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
- "Boletín Oficial del Estado" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-01-17.
- "Boletín Oficial del Estado" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-01-17.
- "The Royal Couple Of Thailand In Belgium". Getty Images. 1960-01-01. Retrieved 2017-01-17.
- "Editorial & News Images: News Photography, Pictures, Awards, Events, Sports, Celebrity Photos". Corbisimages.com. 2016-05-02. Retrieved 2017-01-17.
- "Queen Fabiola of Belgium, Mohammad Reza Pictures". Getty Images. 1964-11-23. Retrieved 2017-01-17.
- Badraie Archived 2004-03-02 at the Wayback Machine.
- Badraie Archived 2016-04-06 at the Wayback Machine.
- Wilsford, David, ed. Political leaders of contemporary Western Europe: a biographical dictionary (Greenwood, 1995) pp 25-31.
- A. Molitor, La fonction royale en Belgique, Brussels, 1979
- J.Stengers, De koningen der Belgen. Van Leopold I tot Albert II, Leuven, 1997.
- Kardinaal Suenens, Koning Boudewijn. Het getuigenis van een leven, Leuven, 1995.
- Kerstrede 18.12.1975, (ed.V.Neels), Wij Boudewijn, Koning der Belgen. Het politiek, sociaal en moreel testament van een nobel vorst, deel II, Gent, 1996.
- H. le Paige (dir.), Questions royales, Réflexions à propos de la mort d'un roi et sur la médiatisation de l'évènement, Brussels, 1994.
Baudouin of Belgium
Cadet branch of the House of WettinBorn: 7 September 1930 Died: 31 July 1993
| King of the Belgians
| Duke of Brabant
Title next held byPhilippe