Saturday, 18 October 2014

A big moment for a future queen

Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant and future Queen of the Belgians took on a very serious role as she helped mark the centenary of World War One.  The heiress to the throne, now twelve years old, spoke at the end of an event that saw the Western Front in Belgium lit up to mark 100 years since the war began.

Princess Elisabeth of the Belgians begins her speech at Lichtfront

The first flame was lit at Nieuwpoort on the North Sea and a wall of lights extended across Belgium to Ploegsteert on the French border where the royals attended a service at the war memorial.  And the last to speak was the future queen.

Princess Elisabeth begins her speech at Ploegsteert

Her words touched on hope for the future. She told those listening that no one would ever forget those who died in the war and that it was up to the young to hold the torch high in the future.  King Philippe and Queen Mathilde watched as she continued her speech in three languages.

Proud parents - King Philippe and Queen Mathilde listen to their daughter make the most important speech of her life so far

Lichtfront involved 8,400 volunteers holding flames, lights and beacons across 84 kilometres to light up the dusk and fading skies in memory of those who went to war.  The lights went on over an hour and a half and came to an end with the young princess' promise to keep the light burning brightly in the future.  And as she went back to her seat her parents couldn't hide their pride as their little girl took another step into her royal future.

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