King Baudouin of Belgium married Spanish Aristocrat Doña Fabiola de Mora y Aragón in a series of lavish celebrations in Brussels on this day in 1960, following a Ball at the Royal Palace of Brussels and a Banquet at the Musée du Cinquantenaire. The couple unfortunately had no children, but remained devoted to each other until his tragic death in 1993. Queen Fabiola passed away in 2014.
In the morning, King Baudouin was married to Doña Fabiola de Mora y Aragón in a civil ceremony held in the Throne Room of the Royal Palace of Brussels, which was presided over by the Minister of Justice, the Mayor of Brussels, and a member of the Municipal Council, in the presence of Royal Guests and Relatives from around Europe. The witnesses were the groom’s father, King Leopold III, his brother-in-law, Hereditary Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, the bride’s brother, The Marqués of Casa Riera, and the pretender to the Spanish throne, the Count of Barcelona.
Afterwards, the bridal party and royal attendees travelled to the religious ceremony, which was held at the Cathedral of Saint Michael and Saint Gudula, where the service was conducted by Cardinal van Roey, the Primate of Belgium, who was assisted by a representative of the Holy See who read a personal message from The Pope.
After the ceremony, King Baudouin and the new Queen Fabiola walked out of the Cathedral to the strains of Handel’s Hallelujah chorus from Messiah, before they rode through the streets of Brussels, and then waved to the assembled crowds from the balcony of the Royal Palace, ahead of a Banquet for 2,000 guests.
Royal Guests and Relatives in attendance included Queen Elisabeth (grandmother of the groom), King Leopold III (father) and the Princess de Rethy (stepmother), Prince Albert (brother) and Princess Paola (sister-in-law), Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Felix of Luxembourg, Hereditary Grand Duke Jean (brother-in-law) and Hereditary Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte (sister), King Olav V (uncle) and Princess Astrid of Norway (cousin), King Umberto (uncle) and Queen Marie-Jose of Italy (aunt) with Prince Alexander and Princess Maria Pia of Yugoslavia (cousin), Princess Maria Gabriella and Princess Maria Beatrice of Savoy, Prince Axel (uncle) and Princess Margaretha of Denmark (aunt) with Prince George Valdemar (cousin) and Princess Anne of Denmark and Count Flemming (cousin) and Countess Ruth of Rosenborg, Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands with Crown Princess Beatrix and Princess Irene, King Michael and Queen Anne of Romania, Tsar Simeon of Bulgaria, Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon, Prince Bertil of Sweden, Archduke Otto von Habsburg, the Count and Countess of Barcelona, the Princess Napoleon, the Duchess of Braganza, the Duchess of Bavaria, Infanta Maria Christina of Spain, the Archduke and Archduchess of Austria-Este, Prince Iskander Desta of Ethiopia, Prince Gholamreza of Iran, the Marquis of Villaverde and the Duchess of Franco.
Queen Fabiola wore a Cristóbal Balenciaga gown of white silk and tulle, trimmed with ermine, with a tulle veil holding in place the Nine Provinces Tiara. King Baudoin wore the Uniform of Lieutenant-General of the Armies with the Sash and Star of the Order of Leopold and the Collar of the Spanish Order of Isabella the Catholic.