Friday, December 12, 2014

Farewell to Queen Fabiola.

Royalty from around the world (though not the UK) gathered in Brussels to mourn Queen Fabiola. Perhaps most touching was the grief of 11-year-old Prince Gabriel, who evidently had been close to his great-aunt.

I must say that I find it disappointing that
none of the British royal family attended. Surely they could have sent someone? Queen Elizabeth II did attend King Baudouin's funeral in 1993. But in general since 1917 there has often seemed to be a certain...distance between British and Continental royalty. Wikipedia has a complete list of royal guests at its article on Queen Fabiola. Empress Michiko of Japan, 80, came all the way from Tokyo. The Dutch, Luxembourgian, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Spanish, Austrian, Italian, Two Sicilian, Russian, Portuguese, Moroccan, Egyptian, Kuwaiti, Iranian, and Thai royal families were also represented.

Some deeply moving footage here from the funeral. As Queen Fabiola's coffin enters the Cathedral, the organ plays Bach's Fantasia in C Minor BWV 537. Later as the Belgian royal family including the children approach the coffin and bow in pairs, the chorale featured in his St Matthew Passion is sung.

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