On the 30th anniversary of his death, many European Royals reunited in Motril, Spain, to celebrate the life and legacy of King Baudouin of the Belgians.
On Monday, 31st July, the Andalusian city welcomed King Philippe of the Belgians, nephew to King Baudouin and eventual successor to his throne. King Philippe was accompanied by his younger daughter, Princess Eleonore.
Spain’s Queen Sofía, a friend of King Baudouin and his wife, Queen Fabiola, also led tributes. Queen Sofia and her husband, King Juan Carlos spent many holidays with Baudouin and Fabiola.
Royalty from Luxembourg and Liechtenstein also attended the evening ceremony.
The commemoration was opened by a short speech from Motril’s Mayor, followed by some words from the President of the In Eis Foundation, which was created to manage the heritage of King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola.
After the last speech was given by Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein (who was born a Princess of Luxembourg and is a niece to King Baudouin), a musical piece was played, and the Archbishop of Granada offered a blessing for the memorial statue that currently sits outside Villa Astrida.
Both King Philippe and Queen Sofía then placed wreaths at the foot of the statue, accompanied each by two volunteers from the Carmen Sisterhood group; King Philippe did so on the notes of the Brabançonne, the Belgian national anthem, while Queen Sofía did so with the accompaniment of the Royal March, Spain’s anthem.
The event was concluded by a visit to the memorial arranged for everyone attending – a group that also included Prince Nikolaus and Princess Nora from Liechtenstein; and Prince Guillaume, Princess Sibilla, Prince Paul-Louis, Princess Charlotte, Prince Jean and Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg (the latter now has acquired the title of Archduchess Marie-Astrid of Austria).
Villa Astrida, in Motril, was King Baudouin’s summer residence, and ended up being the place where he passed away from heart failure in 1993. Now, with the creation of the In Eis Foundation, members of the public will be able to gain access to the villa, and learn more about the life and work of King Baudouin.