The new Prime Minister of Belgium praised Princess Elisabeth in her King’s Day speech, calling her the symbol of a new generation.
Sophie Wilmès, who was only recently named the first female Prime Minister in Belgium’s history, said that Princess Elisabeth represents how anyone, regardless of gender or race, can achieve where they were once limited, noting that the Princess is the first female heir to the throne.
“Equality between men and women has become a central concern,” Wilmès said. “In the future, Belgium will conjugate the word ‘royal’ in the feminine.”
She also noted that with a female monarch, it will be easier to see the progress and effects of equal opportunity and that the Belgians will look towards their queen.
Wilmès further praised Princess Elisabeth, saying, “In addition to the intrinsic qualities of Princess Elisabeth, who has repeatedly distinguished herself in her speeches – in three national languages, I have no doubt that gender equality, equal opportunities, will be a theme that is close to her heart.”
She noted the first official trip Princess Elisabeth took, with her mother, Queen Mathilde, to Kenya over the summer, where she “drew attention to the situation of girls who still have difficulty accessing education and the violence they too often suffer,” as an example of how equality is already important to the Princess.
Wilmès later posted on her official Twitter account, “Princess Elisabeth becomes the first reigning Queen, symbol of the evolution of our society in terms of equality between men and women.”
In her birthday speech last month, Princess Elisabeth said, “Eighteen years … A step that I take with great optimism. I realise that I still have a lot to learn. I will also focus on that in the coming years: trying to understand the world better – and helping to improve it, by giving the best of myself.
“Belgium can count on me.”