The death has been announced of Prince Antonello Ruffo di Calabria, Queen Paola’s brother. The Italian prince who the media of his homeland describe as 'artistic' and a 'passionate traveller' died yesterday at the age of 82.
Queen Paola of the Belgians, now aged 79, and the youngest of her brothers and sisters, has now lost all her siblings and is the sole survivor of seven children.
Prince Antonello established Selva di Paliano, the first ornithological park in Italy. He is said to be the first Italian aristocrat to travel to Fidel Castro's Cuba following the Communist revolution. Back in Italy Queen Paola's brother collected steam engines and in 1984 built his own private railway.
Queen Paola and her husband, King Albert, are frequent visitors to the queen’s native Italy. Earlier in the month they were pictured on their yacht bound for Sardinia.