December 12, 1909
King Leopold II of the Belgians suffered a "sudden relapse" earlier today, and his condition is described as "very grave," reports the New York Times.
The Belgian sovereign has been "seriously ill" for two weeks, but appeared to be convalescing until today.
An official bulletin has been released by the palace in Brussels. "The rheumatic pain s have disappeared, but the King is suffering from a disquieting affection of the abdomen."
It is understood that the King is suffering from an obstruction of the intestines, along with "dropsy of the legs."
His doctors have visited him several times during the day. The king's secretary reported that the "King was somewhat better than in the morning,:" and he was in less pain.
The king's pulse was said to be "satisfactory," and he does not have a fever. He also has been seen by two specialists who have pointed out the "gravity of the situation," but they do not see the king's condition as "desperate."
The Belgian cabinet met this afternoon to "prepare for any eventuality." King Leopold is in "possession of all his faculties." He has given his secretary a "few final instructions.
Prince Albert, the King's nephew and heir presumptive, has been at the king's bedside, along with his wife, Elisabeth, and the Belgian premier. King Leopold's youngest daughter, Princess Clementine, is expected to arrive later tonight.
The King's doctors and the Archbishop of Mechlin will also remain with the king. Leopold is expected receive the last sacrament tomorrow morning.