So Belgium was stunned last week when its royals, Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde, trotted out their nine-year-old daughter to make her first formal public appearance: a speech to open a new hospital.
Princess Elisabeth, the prince and the princess's eldest child, arrived to the hospital with her parents. After meeting with various hospital administrators, she gave the following address:
"Ladies and Gentlemen, I am very happy that I can give my name to this new children’s hospital today. Together with you, I hope that many children will find help here. I know they can count on your daily commitment. The Princess Elisabeth Children’s Hospital now gets a special place in my heart."The Wall Street Journal writes that a formal speech in public is extremely unconventional for underage royals, who are supposed to be seen and not heard while still under their parents' wings.
The royal children have already appeared in public, of course, when Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Brabant, took their four children -- Gabriel, Emmanuel, Elisabeth and Eleonore -- to their first day of school two weeks ago.
But a speech is another story. WSJ writes that having a nine-year-old make a speech in Dutch at a children's hospital is certainly a good PR move for the royal family, which is less popular in Dutch-speaking Flanders than in French-speaking Wallonia.
Because how could anyone hate a little girl in a pink dress speaking at a children's hospital? Check out the pictures below and read more at WSJ.com.