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On this day 60 years ago:

King Baudouin of the Belgians (1930-1993) marries Spanish aristocrat Doña Fabiola de Mora y Aragón (1928-2014)

Doña Fabiola de Mora y Aragón was born in Madrid, Spain, at the Palacio Zurbano, the main residence of the Marqués de Casa Riera. She was the daughter of Don Gonzalo de Mora y Fernández y Riera y del Olmo, 4th Marqués de Casa Riera, 2nd Count of Mora (1887–1957), and his wife, Doña Blanca de Aragón y Carrillo de Albornoz y Barroeta-Aldamar y Elío (1892–1981), daughter of the 6th Marchioness of Casa Torres and Viscountess of Baiguer. Her godmother was Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain.

On December 15, 1960, Fabiola married Baudouin, who had been King of the Belgians since the abdication of his father, Leopold III, in 1951. At the marriage ceremony in the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, she wore a 1926 Art Deco tiara that had been a gift of the Belgian state to her husband’s mother, Astrid of Sweden, upon her marriage to Leopold III.

Her dress of satin and ermine was designed by the couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga. Fabiola was a hospital nurse at the time of her engagement; TIME magazine, in its 26 September 1960, issue, called Doña Fabiola the “Cinderella Girl” and described her as “an attractive young woman, though no raving beauty” and “the girl who could not catch a man.” On the occasion of her marriage, Spanish bakers set out to honour Fabiola and created a type of bread, “la fabiola”, which is still made in Palencia.

The explorer Guido Derom named the Queen Fabiola Mountains – a newly discovered range of Antarctic mountains – in her honour in 1961. She also has several varieties of ornamental plants named after her.

The royal couple had no children, as the Queen’s five pregnancies ended in miscarriage in 1961, 1962, 1963, 1966 and 1968. Fabiola openly spoke about her miscarriages in 2008: ‘You know, I myself lost five children. You learn something from that experience. I had problems with all my pregnancies, but you know, in the end I think life is beautiful’.