Fabiola wore a white dress at the 1993 funeral ceremony, as a symbol of hope.
She had chosen the prayers and songs for the funeral herself. They symbolised joy and resurrection. She didn’t want a sad ceremony, but a joyful one filled with hope.
Her death reunited Fabiola, the 5th queen of Belgium, with Boudewijn. Fabiola was a deeply religious person who believed in the hereafter.
She always said she was looking forward to being reunited with the man she had been married to for over 30 years.
Royals from across the globe, but not from Britain
The service was led by Cardinal Godfried Danneels and attended by representatives of the Belgian political world, such as Prime Minister Charles Michel.
There were also various royals from abroad, including Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, the Dutch Princess and former Queen Beatrix (photo below), King Harald V of Norway, Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and his wife Queen Silvia, and of course the Spanish (former) monarch Juan Carlos, as Fabiola was born in Spain.
Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg and Maria Teresa of Luxembourg also attended the ceremony, as did Empress Michiko of Japan, the Thai princess Sirindhom and the Moroccan prince Moulay Rachid.
The British Royal family had no representative at the funeral – “due to long-standing commitments” we were told – but the British embassy sent the British ambassador to Belgium, Jonathan Brenton.
Second ceremony in Laken
Fabiola had no children, but her brother-in-law Albert did. Some of his grandchildren read out a little text during mass.
Princess Louise, the eldest daughter of Prince Laurent and his wife Claire Combs, even addressed the crowd in English to highlight the multilingual aspect of the service, as Fabiola wanted.
The religious ceremony in central Brussels was followed by a second one in Laken Church. This is the place where the royal crypt containing King Boudewijn’s remains is located.
Flandersnews.be / Expatica