Baudouin of Belgium
Baudouin photographed in 1960
|King of the Belgians|
|Reign||17 July 1951 – 31 July 1993|
7 September 1930|
Château du Stuyvenberg, Laeken, Belgium
31 July 1993 62) (aged|
Villa Astrida, Motril, Spain
|Burial||Church of Our Lady of Laeken|
|Consort||Fabiola de Mora y Aragón|
|House||Saxe-Coburg and Gotha|
|Father||Leopold III of the Belgians|
|Mother||Astrid of Sweden|
Baudouin or Boudewijn (7 September 1930 – 31 July 1993) reigned as King of the Belgians, following his father's abdication, from 1951 until his death in 1993. He was the elder son of King Leopold III (1901–83) and his first wife, Princess Astrid of Sweden (1905–35).
Baudouin is the French form of his name, the form most commonly used outside Belgium; his Dutch name is Boudewijn. (The English equivalent is Baldwin.)
Baudouin's full name was Baudouin Albert Charles Léopold Axel Marie Gustave de Belgique (pronounced: [bodwɛ̃ albɛʁ ʃaʁl leopɔld aksɛl maʁi ɡystav də bɛlʒik]) in French and Boudewijn Albert Karel Leopold Axel Marie Gustaaf van België (pronounced [ˈbʌudəˌʋɛin ˈɑlbərt ˈkaːrəl ˈleːjoːˌpɔlt ˈɑksəl maːˈri ɣɵsˈtaːf vɑn ˈbɛlɣijə]) in Dutch.
Ascent to the throne
Baudouin was a direct descendant of Joséphine de Beauharnais, wife of Napoleon. He was born in the Château du Stuyvenberg, near Laeken, Brussels, in Belgium, in 1930, the son of Prince Leopold, the then Duke of Brabant, and his wife, Astrid of Sweden. His father became King of the Belgians, as Leopold III, in 1934. Baudouin's mother died in 1935 in an automobile accident.
Part of Leopold III's unpopularity was the result of a second marriage in 1941 to Mary Lilian Baels, an English-born Belgian commoner, later known as Princess de Réthy. More controversial had been Leopold's decision to surrender to Nazi Germany during World War II, when Belgium was invaded in 1940; many Belgians questioned his loyalties, but a commission of inquiry exonerated him of treason after World War II. Though reinstated in a plebiscite, the controversy surrounding Leopold led to his abdication.
King Leopold III requested the Belgian Government and the Parliament to approve a law delegating his royal powers to his son, Prince Baudouin, who took the constitutional oath before the United Chambers of the Belgian Parliament as Prince Royal on 11 August 1950. He ascended the throne and became the fifth King of the Belgians upon taking the constitutional oath on 17 July 1951, one day following his father's abdication.
The Congolese called the young king Mwana Kitoko ("beautiful boy").
During Baudouin's reign the colony of Belgian Congo became independent. During the last ceremonial inspection of the Force Publique , the royal Sabre of the king was stolen during a parade by Ambroise Boimbo. This act was considerent a humiliation for the king. The famous picture made by Robert Lebeck, travelled the world news papers. The next day the king attended the official reception; he gave a speech that received a blistering response by Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba. However the second humiliation by Lumumba was formal, the image of the humiliation of the king during the parade was the symbol of the independence of Kongo.
Baudouin attended the State funeral of John F. Kennedy in November 1963, as the head of state of Belgium, and one of many dignitaries at that state funeral, along with Paul-Henri Spaak, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and former three-time Prime Minister of Belgium.
In 1976, on the 25th anniversary of Baudouin's accession, the King Baudouin Foundation was formed, with the aim of improving the living conditions of the Belgian people.
Baudouin was a devout Roman Catholic. Through the influence of Leo Cardinal Suenens, Baudouin participated in the growing Renewal Movement and regularly went on pilgrimages to the French shrine of Paray-le-Monial.
In 1990, when a law submitted by Roger Lallemand and Lucienne Herman-Michielsens that liberalised Belgium's abortion laws was approved by Parliament, he refused to give Royal Assent to the bill. This was unprecedented; although Baudouin was nominally Belgium's chief executive, Royal Assent has long been a formality (as is the case in most constitutional and popular monarchies). However, due to his religious convictions, Baudouin asked the Government to declare him temporarily unable to reign so that he could avoid signing the measure into law. The Government under Wilfried Martens complied with his request on 4 April 1990. According to the provisions of the Belgian Constitution, in the event the King is temporarily unable to reign, the Government as a whole fulfills the role of Head of State. All members of the Government signed the bill, and the next day (5 April 1990) the Government declared that Baudouin was capable of reigning again.
Death, succession, and legacy
Baudouin reigned for 42 years. He died of heart failure on 31 July 1993 in the Villa Astrida in Motril, in the south of Spain. Although in March 1992 the King had been operated for a Mitral valve prolapse in Paris, his death still came unexpectedly, and sent much of Belgium into a period of deep mourning. Within hours the Royal Palace gates and enclosure were covered with flowers that people brought spontaneously. A viewing of the body was held at the Royal Palace in central Brussels; 500,000 people (5% of the population) came to pay their respects. Many waited in line up to 14 hours in sweltering heat to see their King one last time. Along with other members of European royalty, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom attended the funeral.
Titles, styles and honours
- 7 September 1930 - 17 February 1934: His Royal Highness Prince Baudouin of Belgium, Count of Hainaut
- 17 February 1934 - 10 August 1950: His Royal Highness Prince Baudouin of Belgium, Duke of Brabant
- 10 August 1950 - 17 July 1951: His Royal Highness Prince Baudouin, Prince Royal, Duke of Brabant
- 17 July 1951 - 31 July 1993: His Majesty King Baudouin of the Belgians
- Belgium: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold
- Belgium: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the African Star
- Belgium: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Royal Order of the Lion
- Belgium: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown
- Belgium: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold II
- Argentina: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Liberator General San Martín
- Austria: Grand Cross of the Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria, Grand Star
- Democratic Republic of the Congo: Grand Cross of the National Order of the Leopard
- Denmark: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Elephant
- Ethiopian Imperial Family: Knight Grand Collar of the Order of Solomon
- Germany: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Special Class
- Greek Royal Family: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Redeemer
- Iceland: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Falcon
- Iranian Imperial Family: Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of Pahlavi
- Iranian Imperial Family: Recipient of the Commemorative Medal of the 2,500 year Celebration of the Persian Empire
- Italian Royal Family: Knight Grand Collar of the Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation
- Italian Royal Family: Knight Grand Cordon of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
- Italian Royal Family: Knight Grand Cordon of the Order of the Crown of Italy
- Italy: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
- Japan: Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum
- Luxembourg: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau
- Netherlands: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion
- Netherlands: Recipient of the Wedding Medal of Princess Beatrix, Princess of Orange and Claus Van Amsberg
- Norway: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of St. Olav
- Portugal: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Prince Henry
- Spain: 1, 171st Knight with Collar of the Spanish Order of the Golden Fleece
- Spain: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Charles III
- Spain: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Isabella the Catholic
- Sweden: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Royal Order of the Seraphim
- Thailand: Knight Grand Cordon with Chain of the Order of the Royal House of Chakri
- Thailand: Knight Grand Cordon with Chain of the Order of Chula Chom Klao
- United Kingdom: Stranger Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter
- Yugoslavia: Grand Cross of the Order of the Yugoslav Star, Great Star
- Kings of Belgium family tree
- Crown Council of Belgium
- Royal Trust
- Herman Liebaers (Marshal of the Royal Household)
- André Molitor (private secretary)
- Jacques van Ypersele de Strihou (private secretary)
- Pierre-Yves Monette (advisor)
- King Baudouin Ice Shelf, Antarctica
- Koningin Fabiola had vijf miskramen
- Glasenapp, Jörn (2008) '"Der Degendieb von Léopoldville. Robert Lebecks Schlüsselbild der Dekolonisation Afrikas" In Paul, Gerhard (ed.) (2008) Das Jahrhundert der Bilder: 1949 bis heute Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, pp. 242-249, ISBN 978-3-525-30012-1, in German
- Suzanne McIntire and William E. Burns, Speeches in World History, Infobase Publishing, 2009, pp. 438-40
- New York Times, 5 April 1990
- "Belgium: Commoner for A Day, or Two". Time. 16 April 1990. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
- Lyons, Richard D. "Baudouin I, King of Belgium, Dies at 62," New York Times. August 1, 1993.
- Baudoin wearing the orders of the Garter and Leopold
- "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 53. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
- Baudoin wearing German honours
- Iceland Presidency Website, Baudoin, konungur Belgíu - Belgía - 1979-10-16 - Stórkross með keðju (= Baudouin, King of Belgians, Belgium, 16th October 1979, Grand Cross with Collar)
- Baudoin wearing Spanish honours
- Boletín Oficial del Estado
- Boletín Oficial del Estado
- Wilsford, David, ed. Political leaders of contemporary Western Europe: a biographical dictionary (Greenwood, 1995) pp 25-31.
- A. Molitor, La fonction royale en Belgique, Brussels, 1979
- J.Stengers, De koningen der Belgen. Van Leopold I tot Albert II, Leuven, 1997.
- Kardinaal Suenens, Koning Boudewijn. Het getuigenis van een leven, Leuven, 1995.
- Kerstrede 18.12.1975, (ed.V.Neels), Wij Boudewijn, Koning der Belgen. Het politiek, sociaal en moreel testament van een nobel vorst, deel II, Gent, 1996.
- H. le Paige (dir.), Questions royales, Réflexions à propos de la mort d'un roi et sur la médiatisation de l'évènement, Brussels, 1994.
Baudouin of Belgium
Cadet branch of the House of WettinBorn: 7 September 1930 Died: 31 July 1993
|King of the Belgians
| Succeeded by|
|Duke of Brabant
| Succeeded by|