Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Blood of King Albert Identified 80 Years Later

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Blood of King Albert Identified 80 Years Later

Article excerpt

The death of King Albert I of Belgium in 1934--officially a climbing accident--still fuels speculation. Forensic geneticist Maarten Larmuseau and his colleagues at KU Leuven (University of Leuven, Belgium), have now compared DNA from blood found on the scene in 1934 to that of two distant relatives. In a case of science confirming history, their analysis shows that the blood really is that of Albert I, a conclusion at odds with several popular conspiracy theories about the king's death.

On 17 February 1934, King Albert I died after a fall from the rocks in Marche-les-Dames. The fact that there were no witnesses fueled speculations about the king's "real" cause of death. Conspiracy theories circulate to this day, ranging from a political murder to a crime of passion: The king is said to have been murdered elsewhere, his fall staged only later. Evidence for these theories, however, has never been found.

After the death of Albert I, Marcheles-Dames virtually became a place of pilgrimage, and relics turned up with the king's trails of blood, said to have been collected during the night of 17 to 18 February by people living in the neighborhood. …

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