Belgium's Queen Fabiola seriously ill

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Queen Fabiola, center, in Germany in 1971.
Image: German Federal Archive.

Queen Fabiola of Belgium, widow of King Baudouin, is reported to be seriously ill in St John's hospital, Brussels, suffering from pneumonia. The Queen was admitted to hospital on January 16, having been treated earlier in January for a thyroid problem.

Last week, Flemish state television VRT had to apologise after their website mistakenly published a pre-written obituary of the late King's consort. Obituaries for important people are commonly pre-written by newspapers and news sites, with newspapers often writing them years in advance.

The Belgian press have hotly debated the apparent fact that her earlier thyroid operation was conducted under hypnosis.

Queen Fabiola, now 80 years old, was born in Spain and met Baudouin in the 1950s when she was a nurse. They married in 1960 and remained together until his death in 1993. They had no children and Baudouin was succeeded by his brother Albert.