Symbolic of the very first step into adulthood, an 18th birthday is a big milestone in anyone's life. But for a royal, it's a coming of age celebration that calls for the whole country to clink glasses.
Princess Elisabeth of Belgium, who is next in line to the Belgian throne, turned 18 on Friday, and was naturally thrown the most wonderfully extravagant birthday party at the Royal Palace in Brussels. The Princess' birthday is of particular significance, as it means that she is now officially old enough to become Queen, meaning that if her parents, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, abdicate or pass away, she will automatically become the reigning monarch.
According to reports by People, the royal fête was attended by relatives and renowned politicians, as well as "80 teenagers who share her 2001 birth year." Guests were seated in the lavishly decorated royal ballroom, surrounded by stunning crystal chandeliers, and were entertained by exquisite performances from the Antwerp Royal Ballet School. As an honourary birthday gift, the Princess also recieved the merit of appearing on the official Belgian postage stamp.
The momentous occasion was broadcast live on three national television stations for the whole country to tune into. In a speech to honour the joyous celebrations, Princess Elisabeth mused that, "These 18 years have been filled with many rewarding moments that have made me the person I am today."
She continued: "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."
Now if that isn't the definition of a perfectly magical night to remember, then we don't know what is.