by Susan Flantzer
Queen Fabiola was Queen of the Belgians from the time of her marriage in 1960 until the death of her husband, King Baudouin of the Belgians, in 1993. Doña Fabiola Fernanda Maria de las Victorias Antonia Adelaïda de Mora y Aragón was born to a Spanish aristocratic family in Madrid, Spain on June 11, 1928. Fabiola was the sixth child of the three sons and four daughters of Gonzalo de Mora y Fernández, Riera y del Olmo, 4th Marquess of Casa Riera, 2nd Count of Mora and his wife Blanca de Aragón y Carrillo de Albornoz, Barroeta-Aldamar y Elío.
Fabiola trained as a nurse and worked in a Madrid hospital. She is fluent in six languages: Spanish, French, Dutch, English, German and Italian. Fabiola is also the author of a children’s book “Los Doce Cuentos Maravillosos” (The Twelve Marvelous Tales), a book of 12 fairy tales, published in 1955 in her native Spain. The book was later translated into other languages and made into an attraction at a Dutch amusement park. See Unofficial Royalty: Queen Fabiola’s Indian Water Lilies.
On December 15, 1960, Fabiola married King Baudouin of the Belgians, who had been king since the abdication of his father King Leopold III in 1951 The couple married at the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula in Brussels, Belgium and Fabiola wore a beautiful Art Deco tiara, the Nine Provinces Tiara, that had been a gift of the Belgian people to her husband’s mother, Princess Astrid of Sweden, upon her marriage to King Leopold III.
Unfortunately, King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola lost five children to miscarriages and upon King Baudoiun’s unexpected death in 1993, his younger brother succeeded him as King Albert II. King Albert abdicated in 2013 in favor of his elder son, King Philippe.
Queen Fabiola was been active in a number of charities including:
- Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Music Competition
- King Baudouin Foundation
- Queen Fabiola Fund for Mental Health
On December 5, 2014, Queen Fabiola died at her home Stuyvenberg Castle in Laeken, Brussels, Belgium and was buried with her husband at the Church of Our Lady of Laeken, the traditional burial site of the Belgian monarchs.