The House of Representatives' chief doorkeeper lifted his voice above the groundswell murmurings of Senators, Congressmen, diplomats, Supreme Court Justices and others in the packed House chamber. "Mr. Speaker," he called out, "the King of the Belgians."

Hands characteristically clasped behind his back, tall, 28-year-old King Baudouin, slim and erect in a plain military uniform, walked to the Speaker's rostrum, bowed to the left and the right, told the joint session of Congress: "I am here to register the solidarity between the people of Belgium and America."

It was Baudouin's first state visit to...

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