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Memorial service held for Belgian queen

King Albert II of Belgium was in Küssnacht am Rigi on Sunday to mark the death of his mother 75 years ago.

Queen Astrid was 29 when she died in a car accident in the lakeside town near Lucerne. Albert was just one year old at the time.

Sunday’s memorial mass was held at the Queen Astrid Chapel near the scene of the accident. Quite a crowd gathered outside, including many Belgians living in Switzerland.

In 1935, the queen had been riding in a convertible driven by her husband, King Leopold III. Somehow the car veered off the road and into a tree. Queen Astrid was flung from the car and died instantly; the king was not seriously injured.

Switzerland then gave Belgium the plot of land where the accident occurred, and the chapel was inaugurated ten months later.

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