Foreign News: The Lonely One

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Ministers in morning coat or resplendent uniform were ranged along one side of the crowded chamber in Brussels' Parliament (designed for only 200 deputies, it was crammed with 1,000 guests). At the ministers' left sat the diplomatic corps, to the right were Belgium's top justices, grave in fur-trimmed gowns. Next to them were Senators and Representatives. Under a huge red velvet canopy stood the throne of Belgium, a formidable chair—newly gilded and fitted with red upholstery—which had been lugged down from the Parliament building's attic.

At 11 a.m., a tall young...

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