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It has been announced by the Belgian Monarchy that Queen Fabiola of Belgium has died at the age of 86.

She was born Doña Fabiola de Mora y Aragón to an aristocratic Spanish family and was working as a nurse in Spain when she was selected to marry King Baudouin of the Belgians, whom she married in 1960. Fabiola was a popular queen, partly because of her devotion to Belgium and the Roman Catholic Church, and partly because of her 5 pregnancies, all of which ended in miscarriages.

King Baudoin died in 1993, and Fabiola stepped back to a quieter life, but remained devoted to her pet causes, which included mental health, and women’s and children’s issues; she was also the patron of the  Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Music Competition, with which she was closely involved. Her brother- and sister-in-law King Albert II and Queen Paola also continually included her in state events, and she appeared on the balcony last year with the royal family when Philippe was invested as King. Notably, she was hospitalized for pneumonia in 2009. After she recovered, she received death threats that she would be shot with a crossbow. Fabiola later appeared at Belgium’s National Day festivities waving an apple in reference to the story of William Tell.

Sadly, it seems Fabiola never truly recovered from the lung infection, though the Palace has not announced an official cause of death.

My condolences to the Belgian Royal Family.

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