Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Baudouin slips a way "to woo a princess"

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May 29, 1952

King Baudouin of Belgium, 21, and Princess Margherita of Savoy-Aosta, 22,  are "heading for meting tonight in Italy", according to the Associated Press.

This meeting may lead to an announcement of a royal wedding.  Members of the Belgian and Italian royal families are already in Rome for a "preliminary get acquainted gathering.

The meeting will probably take place at the "walled Villa Sparta," which is the home of former Queen Helen of Romania.  The villa is just outside Florence.

In "semi-secret, the King "slipped out of Brussels" this morning by train. Although his destination was said to be Rome, a spokesman at the Belgian embassy in Rome said "he is definitely not coming to Rome," but acknowledged that the King would be "somewhere else in Italy.

Princess Margherita and her younger sister, Maria Cristina, arrived in Rome last night.  Their mother, the Duchess of Aosta, has already arrived in Florence and is staying at Queen Helen's villa.  Her two daughters are expected to arrive at Villa Sparta tomorrow.

King Baudouin's stepmother, the Princess de Rethy, and his brother and sister, Prince Albert and Princess Josephine Charlotte, have been in Rome for three days.  Prince Albert visited the Vatican earlier today, but did not meet with Pope Pius.

Police in Florence have been told to expect members of both royal families "in the next few days."

rumors of a marriage between King Baudouin and Princess Margherita have been circulating in Italy for several weeks.  The King's aunt, Princess Marie José, married the future King Umberto in 1930.  He lost his throne in 1946, and he and his wife now live in exile.

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