Queen Paola, mother of the reigning king, has been rushed to hospital in Venice after suffering a stroke. The Queen, 81-year-old wife of King Phillippe’s predecessor Albert II, is expected to be transported back to Belgium later today, the royal palace said.
Queen Paola, who is of Italian birth, was in her native land to celebrate her birthday on 11 September.
The royal family has not issued any details, but the RTBF revealed she has suffered a stroke, which involves the loss of blood and therefore oxygen to the brain. Strokes can often be fatal, or if not, lead to permanent brain damage including paralysis or cognitive damage.
Queen Paola has previously been reported to have suffered from osteoporosis, or loss of bone matter. In 2017 she was hospitalised as a result of a hip fracture, probably related. She later suffered a fracture of the vertebrae, and a double fracture in her arm. She has also been hospitalised for a previous stroke that occurred in Italy.