King Baudouin of Belgium

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King Baudouin of Belgium, uncle of King Philippe, passed away on this day in 1993, 25 years ago. The elder son of King Leopold III of Belgium and Princess Astrid of Sweden, he was the brother of Grand Duchess Joséphine Charlotte of Luxembourg and King Albert II of Belgium as well as the first cousin of King Harald V of Norway. Born during the reign of his grandfather, he became Crown Prince in 1934, losing his mother in a tragic car crash the following year. During the German Occupation in WWII, the family was kept under house arrest at the Palace of Laeken, and later sent to Germany and Austria, spending time in Switzerland after being liberated, because of the tense situation in Belgium. In 1951, King Leopold II abdicated and he succeeded as King Baudouin. In 1960, he married Doña Fabiola de Mora y Aragón, but the couple were unable to have children and he was eventually succeeded by his younger brother. Due to his strong religious views and lack of children, he refused to give Royal Assent to a Bill legalizing Abortion, being declared temporarily unable to reign so that he could avoid signing the measure into law. King Baudouin reigned for over 42 years, and passed away of heart failure at his summer home in Spain. Queen Fabiola died in 2013.

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