Baudouin of Belgium

fifth king of the Belgians

Baudouin, 7 September 1930 – 31 July 1993) was King of the Belgians from 1951 until his death in 1993. He was the last Belgian king to be sovereign of the Congo. Baudouin was the elder son of King Leopold III (1901–1983) and his first wife, Princess Astrid of Sweden (1905–1935). Because he and his wife, Queen Fabiola, had no children, at Baudouin's death the crown passed to his younger brother, King Albert II.

Baudouin of Belgium

Quotes edit

  • In answer to what has long been awaited, the government in Brussels will announce before Parliament today a program of reforms which will open a decisive period for the future of our African population. I feel that i owe it to the memory of my illustrious predecessors, the founders and conciliators of our enterprise in Africa, to acquaint you personally with the charter and spirit of this program. The purpose of our presence on the African continent was defined by Leopold Ii: To open the backward countries to European civilization, summon their populations to emancipation, to freedom and to progress after having freed them from slavery, disease and misery, continuing these lofty aims, our firm resolution, today is to lead the Congolese people without harmful procrastination, but also without thoughtless haste toward independence, in prosperity and peace.
  • My country and I recognize with joy and emotion that the Congo has acceded on June 30, 1960, in full accord and friendships with Belgium, to independence and international sovereignty.
  • The principal dangers for you are the inexperiences of your people in government affairs, tribal fights which have done so much harm and must at all cost be stopped, and the attraction which certain of your regions can have for foreign powers which are ready to profit from the least sign of weakness.
    • The new leaders of Africa Rolf Italiaander, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall 1690, p 158. King Baudouin warns for the session of Katanga and its merger with the neighboring British territories at the proclemation of the independance of the republic of the Congo on june 30, 1960 in Leopoldville.
  • When Leopold II began his great work, which today finds its culmination, he presented himself to you not as a conqueror but as a bringer of civilization. The Congo was endowed with railways, roads, shipping and air connections. Our medical facilities have freed you from many devastating diseases. Many well-equipped hospitals have been established. Agriculture has been improved and modernized. Great cities have been built. Living conditions and hygiene have improved. Mission and state schools have brought education on a large scale.
  • The independence of the Congo is the crowning of the work conceived by the genius of King Leopold II undertaken by him with firm courage, and continued by Belgium with perseverance. Independence marks a decisive hour in the destinies not only of the Congo herself but- I don't hesitate to say-of the whole of Africa.
  • For eighty years Belgium has sent your land the best of her sons, first to deliver the Congo basin from the odious slave trade which was decimating its population. Later to bring together the different tribes which, though former enemies, are now preparing to form the greatest of the Independent states of Africa.

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