MRS

teatimeatwinterpalace:

Today marks the 79th anniversary of the tragic death of Queen Astrid, consort of King Leopold III. Ironically, August 29, 1935 dawned bright and clear, promising an enjoyable alpine excursion to the royal couple. As Time reported:

For days it had been raining in Switzerland. Leopold of Belgium and Queen Astrid, vacationing in the Villa Haslihorn near Lucerne, sent their three small children back to Brussels. But next morning the sun came out hot and strong, with the promise of a fine day for a mountain climb, a sport of which Leopold was just as fond as his father. Hobnail boots, ropes and alpenstocks were piled into the back of the royal Packard touring car beside the chauffeur. In front Leopold took the wheel while Astrid sat beside him, holding a road map. They started down the lakeside road, keeping close to the curb because the pavement was slippery. In a second it was all over. Just before reaching Kussnacht, with the car rolling along at 50 m.p.h. Leopold turned his head to look at the road map. The right wheels of the car slipped through one of the 18-ft. openings in the concrete curb. For some 95 feet it careened along, the right wheels at times three feet lower than the left. Then it struck a young pear tree, swerved at right angles. The Queen and the chauffeur were thrown clear. The car rolled down the bank, caromed off another tree and into the shallow water of the lake.

With his hands sprained, his lower lip slashed and a rib fractured, King Leopold crawled from the car and over to the body of his wife. He could see that she was already dead, her skull fractured, her chest gashed with broken glass. Aides following in a second car rushed hastily back for an ambulance while King Leopold, dazed and bloody, stood looking down at his dead Queen.

Witnesses reported the devastated King crying “Astrid ! Astrid ! ” and clasping his wife’s body to his heart. Later, he would confide to the Queen’s best friend, Anna Sparre: “My life is over." In a voice broken by sobs, he asked his secretary, Robert Capelle: " Why did the good God take her away from me ? We were so happy ! ” The tragic death of his father, King Albert I, only 18 months earlier, had plunged Belgium and its royal family into deep mourning, and now all the sorrowful scenes would be repeated…

“It [independence] signifies a decisive moment in the existence, not only of the Congo itself, but also—and I don’t hesitate to say it—of the whole of Africa. When Leopold II undertook the greatest project that is being crowned today, he did not announce to you as a conqueror, but as a civilizer. The great independence movement that drives the whole of Africa has received the broadest understanding from the Belgian government. In consideration of the unanimous longing of your people we have not hesitated to grant you this independence from the very start.”

King Baudouin during his speech on the occasion of the independence of the Democratic Republic of Congo from Belgium (June 30, 1960)

When Leopold II undertook the greatest project that is being crowned today, he did not announce to you as a conqueror, but as a civilizer.

Mathilde Marie-Christine Ghislaine

05 Aug 14   –   14 notes

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians, attended the Ceremony at the Allies’ Memorial in Cointe during Ceremonies organized by the Belgian federal government to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War at Basilique de Cointe on August 4, 2014 in Liege, Belgium

04 Aug 14   –   104 notes

Today a large gathering took place of families of the victims of the air disaster in eastern Ukraine. My wife and I were among those present. We were deeply touched by the moving, personal accounts of those who have lost loved ones. People whose lives are in ruins. Their sorrow, their feeling of powerlessness and their despair are heartrending. Many people said to us, ‘We at least want to take dignified leave of our loved ones’.

We understand their frustration and their pain. And we share their heartfelt wish for clarity on the cause of this disaster.

We know that their loss can never be made good. Their grief is immense. The only thing we could do today was to be with them, and listen to what they had to say.

In the last few days, people have gathered together all over the Netherlands, and they will go on doing so. In offices, schools, sports clubs and living rooms across the country. People are there for one another.

And that is especially important now, at a time of great trial for our country, when so many people are overwhelmed by grief. It is important that we hold onto one another, that we support each other and do what we can to help. And that we open our hearts to anyone who wants to share their story. Not only now, but also in the months and years to come.

I would like to express my appreciation for all the people who are rallying around those affected by the disaster. Relatives, friends, neighbours and colleagues: you are all very much needed now.

I would also like to say how much I value the work being done by the hundreds of professionals involved in carrying out the many sad and difficult tasks that need to be done.

My wife and I sympathise deeply with all those who have been bereaved. We are with them in our thoughts. These sentiments are shared by my mother and by the other members of my family, who feel a particularly close bond with our country in these dark days.

Brief statement by His Majesty the King after the gathering of next of kin of the air disaster victims on Monday, 21 July 2014, Nieuwegein

Source: Koninklijk Huis

It is so disgusting what happening right now, it one thing to kill these innocent people, it is a whole different level to disrespect their bodies and belongings the way they have.

(via royalwatcher)

Can´t believe that Elisabeth is already a teenager

21 Jul 14   –   16 notes