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The royal who wasn’t afraid of the curse of King Tut’s tomb

The curse of Egyptian King Tut’s tomb is well-known.

Of those who have entered Tutankhamun’s tomb, many have succumbed to unexpected, early deaths. From Lord Carnarvon to Howard Carter, those who “disturbed” the tomb had early deaths under the so-called “curse of the Pharaohs.”

One royal was not afraid to risk the curse: Queen Elisabeth of Belgium.

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When the Queen got word of the discovery of the ancient pharaoh’s tomb, she chose to go to Egypt to take part in its opening. She asked Lord Carnarvon, who had funded the excavation, if she could join them at the opening of the tomb, and her request was granted. Her visit was organised by King Fuad of Egypt with the help of Lord Allenby, the British High Commissioner.

Queen Elisabeth wrote about visiting the tomb, “I’ve always been a woman of passions. Some are known, others less so. One of these is my passion for ancient Egypt.”

It was February 1923 when Queen Elisabeth travelled to Egypt alongside her son, King Leopold and his friend, an Egyptologist, Jean Capart. Her Majesty entered the famous cursed location on 18 February in the Valley of the Kings, not long after it had been opened to the public.

There are famous photographs of the Queen in a large white fur coat at the tomb while battling the extreme heat.

What she saw influenced her so that upon her return to Belgium, she started the Queen Elisabeth Egyptological Foundation; it became one of the most extensive Egyptological libraries in Europe.

Queen Elisabeth died in 1965 at the age of 89.

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About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. She's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.