Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant, celebrated her 18th birthday yesterday and spoke to the Belgian people on live television as part of her birthday celebrations.
She was poised and confident as she spoke about her first 18 years and what she has learned, as well as what she has left to learn. She thanked her family and teachers for their guidance in her life and focused on the environment and climate change.
The most poignant part of her speech came at the end, in which she said three times in the three languages of Belgium (Dutch, French and German), where she spoke of what she will focus on.
“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 said.
She concluded with, “The country can count on me.”
After hearing her remarks, it is safe to say, Belgium is in good hands for the future. Elisabeth brought back memories of another crown princess on her 18th birthday in 1995 – Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden.
Victoria promised on her 18th birthday to serve Sweden and the King, her father, and she has done more than that. She is a beloved figure in Sweden, hardworking and down to earth. Princess Elisabeth will be following in good footsteps by emulating Crown Princess Victoria.
The Duchess of Brabant’s full speech can be read here.