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Belgium's former queen Fabiola dies at 86

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By Euronews
Belgium's former queen Fabiola dies at 86

Belgium’s former queen Fabiola has died at the age of 86.

In a statement the Royal Palace said it was with great sadness that they had to announce the death of Her Majesty, Queen Fabiola, Friday evening at Stuyvenberg castle. Though no cause of death was indicated.

The Spanish-born monarch had been suffering from ill-health for some time, her breathing having never recovered from a lung infection in 2009.

She faced criticism last year over plans to pass on an estate in Spain to relatives via a trust to avoid paying tax. It led the government to cut allowances to the royal family, and forcing them to start paying taxes.

She became queen when she married King Baudouin in 1960, and remained Queen consort until his death in 1993.

Although largely retiring from public life, she remained interested in humanitarian causes and was awarded for her work with rural women in developing countries in 2001.

Reacting to the news Belgium’s Foreign Minister said ‘a page in our country’s history has turned.’

The Scandinavian Royals took to twitter to express their sadness.

Belgians also mourned their former queen on social media.