Monday, January 30, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
The King greets and the Queen treats wounded soldiers back from the attack
The King gets information at the front on the withdrawal to the Yser
King Albert defending Antwerp (I think)
They shall not pass!
The King directing the troops against the enemy.
It is true, the role of the King was slightly glorified in order to inspire the army to resist and encourage the people not to lose hope in the most darkest hour of the national history. But also is true that no other monarch of the Great War was, from 1914 to 1918, so close so constantly to his army and none more shared their stress and discomfort. Albert I was the King who saved Belgium!
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
When independence came this should have been the happy moment of victory for Patrice Lumumba but he could not let go of his past hatreds and turned the independence ceremony into an ugly scene. There had already been some unpleasantness but at the ceremony King Baudouin gave a speech trying to put the best light on everything. He advised the Congolese leaders not to do anything too radical, assured them that Belgium was ready to help them in any way possible if they needed it and wishing them the best. Lumumba, the new Prime Minister, then took the stage and began railing against the Belgians, even digging up the memory of King Leopold II, insulting Belgium with the most wicked accusations. Everyone today (not just in Africa) thinks this was some sort of brave and heroic speech but at the time few people thought so and instead said that it simply displayed the undiplomatic and unprofessional nature of the new native government, was needless antagonistic and only ensured that the olive branch offered by King Baudouin was slapped away in favor of a continued hostile attitude. The King was so upset at this public humiliation that he almost left the country immediately but his sense of duty prevented him.