Fabiola, 86, who as the wife of King Baudouin was the second-longest-serving queen consort in the history of Belgium, died Friday at the Chateau du Stuyvenberg in Brussels, according to a statement from the royal palace.
Only Marie-Henriette of Austria, Belgium's queen consort for almost 37 years as the wife of Leopold II, exceeded that tenure.
Spanish-born Fabiola was queen from 1960 until her husband's death of a heart attack in 1993. An outpouring of sympathy for the childless queen made her a revered figure, and a regular presence on Belgian royal occasions, for the rest of her life.
The widowed Fabiola retained her monarchical title, promoting medical and Catholic causes and presiding over an annual competition for young musicians. - Bloomberg