Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Queen Fabiola of the Belgians

The death last weekend of Queen Fabiola and her funeral in Brussels yesterday marks the end of a dignified and devout life lived in service to the teaching and principles of the Catholic Faith and, since 1960, to the Kingdom of the Belgians as Queen and as Queen Dowager. Always an elegant figure she clearly strenuously worked for charitable causes and the well-being of her adoptive country. The personal tragedy of her childlessness with King Baudouin led them to an ever greater concern for children's causes.

The Daily Telegraph obituary is a good one, and can be read at Queen Fabiola of the Belgians

The Vatican Insider posts from La Stampa has this account of the unpleasant furore last year over the Queen's private charitable foundation, and who it was indeed who made a fuss in  Queen Fabiola finances Catholic Church with taxpayer's money

There is an online biography of the Queen and details of plans for hr funeral at Queen Fabiola of Belgium, and the Daily Mail has an illustrated account of the funeral at Belgium's royals join European monarchs as they bid farewell to Queen Fabiola.

The BBC account has a number of photographs and can be seen at Belgium dowager Queen Fabiola has state funeral and there are more images from Hello magazine at Royals pay tribute at Queen Fabiola of Belgium's funeral

The absence of a member of the British Royal Family, who were represented by H.M.Ambassador, has been noted by the media. Given the wide-ranging representation of other Royal and Imperial houses, both regnant and non-regnant, at the funeral, and particularly given the fact that The Queen, contrary to precedent, attended the funeral of King Baudouin in 1993, this is to be regretted. I have commented before on the unfortunate tendency of our own Royal Family, or their advisors, to keep other royal houses at something of a distance on too many such occasions. British public opinion would consider itself slighted if other dynasties did not send representatives to London for comparable weddings and funerals. There is a strong argument for what might be termed group solidarity amongst monarchs and monarchies - Queen Victoria and King Edward VII would certainly have agreed with that principle.

Apart from a notice of the Queen's death last weekend there has not, so far, been more about her on the excellent blog The Cross of Laeken, which chronicles the Belgian royal family and their history. There will doubtless be something there soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for introducing me to this dignified and devout royal. I had no idea of her existence - probably because dignity and piety don't sell newspapers.
I sometimes bemoan my lot as a Catholic in modern-day Britain but it could be worse. I could be Belgian.