Royal party: Princess Elizabeth receives list of outrageous birthday presents

The Belgian heir to the throne’s birthday was also marked by a televised ceremony and an entire day’s worth of ceremony. Princess Elizabeth, the Duchess of Brabant celebrated at the Royal Palace in Brussels. Among the guests were members of the Belgian royal family, their friends, the staff of the Princess Elisabeth Children’s hospital and 80 young Belgians who also celebrated their 18th birthday on the day. 

And, as with any other birthday, the princess received presents from loved ones and acquaintances.

The heir apparent received from her father King Philippe the ribbon of the Order of Leopold, the oldest and highest national order.

This purple sash and star is a present the princess will be able to show off at state banquets and during foreign leaders’ official visits.

Princess Elizabeth now holds the second-highest rank in the order, following only her father the monarch, who is its Gand Master. 

The Belgian federal government also presented the princess with a gift – a windmill park, which will be built between 2020 and 2030.

The wind turbine park, situated in the North Sea, won’t be owned by the princess, which means the present is only symbolic – and marks the government’s effort to invest in clean energy, as explained by the country’s minister of the North Sea Philippe De Backer.

The Prime Minister of Belgium, Charles Michel, announced the news on Twitter, saying in French: “Happy birthday to Princess Elizabeth.

“To mark her anniversary, the government named after her the new windmill park.”

The princess also received many books from the Belgian minister of finance and development cooperation.

Among the ones donated to the future monarch, there were some focused on feminism and female leadership, books about the history of Belgium and a worldwide bestseller titled “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”.

Princess Elizabeth also received beautiful gold and diamond earrings.

While it hasn’t been disclosed who gave these jewels to the royal, some royal commentators believe they come from Elizabeth’s parents or grandparents.

Presents for the princess didn’t come only from royals or government bodies, but also from fellow 18-year-olds. 

One of the teenagers attending the ceremony brought Elizabeth a series of gifts from the city of Roeselare, Flanders. 

Among the presents, there were a reusable water bottle, a shirt and chocolates.

The ceremony marking the 18th birthday of Elizabeth started at 10am BST (11am local time) and saw King Philippe giving a speech dedicated to his daughter, followed by a choreographed performance from the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp.

The princess, who wore a white dress, also spoke during the celebrations, promising to her fellow citizens they “can count on me”.

She said: “These 18 years have been filled with many rewarding moments that have made me the person I am today. 

“It is 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.”

“The country can count on me.”      

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