Europe

Belgian Royal Palace denies reports of break in

Queen Paola of Belgium attends King Albert's abdication

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The Belgian Royal Palace has denied reports that somebody broke into a property owned by Queen Paola in France on Friday morning. French newspaper Le Parisien claimed that the Queen’s apartment in Paris was burgled with “several millions of euros worth of jewellery and leather goods” being stolen.

According to the publication, the break in occurred in Parc Monceau, a wealthy area of the city in the eighth arrondissement.

However, the newspaper later backtracked on the story saying there was “ambiguity about the identity” of the apartment.

The Belgian Royal Palace told Belgian news agency Belga that the Queen doesn’t have an apartment in that part of the French capital.

They said: “The original article from ‘Le Parisien’ that linked the theft to an apartment belonging to the Queen is therefore incorrect.”

According to the website Paudal, French police were alerted by a silent alarm.

Although the thieves had already left by the time the police arrived, several bits of Jewellery were found in the courtyard near the apartment.

Specialised French police officers are currently investigating the break-in attempting to find traces of fingerprints.

Tuscany born Queen Paola is the daughter of an Italian World War One flying ace Prince Ruffo di Calabria, 6th Duke of Guardia Lombarda.

She met her husband, then the Prince of Liège, at the coronation of Pope John XXIII at a reception at the Belgian Embassy.

They were married in Brussels the following year and had three children – Philippe, now King, Astrid and Laurent.

Their marriage faced difficulties during the 1970s but, despite initiating divorce proceedings, the couple stayed together.

Queen Paola acted as Queen Consort and Queen of the Belgians from 1993 to 2013 while her husband reigned as Albert II.

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Her husband decided to abdicate due to health reasons and Philippe succeeded him as King.

In recent years she has also faced a number of health issues after being told to take a “a period of total rest” by doctors in 2015.

The following year she fractured a vertebra and suffered from a fractured femoral neck and broke her hip in 2017.

In September 2018, she had to cut a visit to Venice short die to a “health problem” and in March she was ordered to rest for two months after breaking arm in a fall.

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