The Belgian Royal Palace has released seven new images of the Belgian Royal Family to celebrate Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant’s 18th birthday.
The selection of images were taken by Bas Bogaerts in the Royal Palace of Brussels’ Louis XVI Salon after the official birthday celebrations had taken place in the Throne Room.
They feature King Philippe, Queen Mathilde, and Princess Elisabeth alongside Elisabeth’s three siblings (Princes Gabriel and Emmanuel and Princess Eléonore). Elisabeth’s proud grandparents, King Albert, Queen Paola, and Countess Anna Maria d’Udekem d’Acoz are also featured, as are the Duchess of Brabant’s paternal uncle, Prince Laurent and his wife, Princess Claire and her paternal aunt, Princess Astrid. Elisabeth’s first cousin and godfather, Prince Amedeo – the son of Princess Astrid – is also present.
The Princess, who will one day be Belgium’s first queen regnant, turned 18 on 25 October with an official ceremony televised live on Belgian television where she was invested with the Order of Leopold by her proud father, King Philippe and addressed the Belgian people.
Looking poised and confident, Elisabeth assured the Belgian people of her future role:
“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.”
She closed her remarks by promising the Belgians, “The country can count on me.”
Her full speech can be read here.
The Duchess of Brabant is currently studying in Wales at UWC Atlantic College where she is expected to graduate in May 2020 from International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.