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September 30, 2002
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Belgians are celebrating the first birthday of their future queen with the issue of a special stamp depicting the smiling baby with her parents, Crown Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde, against a sunny outdoor background.

When Princess Elisabeth was born last October, there was a rush to mark the occasion: purveyors of fine chocolate – Belgium’s sweetest export – promised a special new bonbon, and the post office announced then that it would introduce a new stamp.

The laws of the country allow the first-born child to take the throne, regardless of sex, and Princess Elisabeth Therese Marie Helene, Philippe and Mathilde’s first child, is second in line to succeed the current monarch, King Albert II.

But all that is for the future. For the moment, little Elisabeth looks perfectly happy to be held in her parents’ arms for the special photo shoot, and it will be years before she realises what it was all about.

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Photo: ©
One-year-old Princess Elisabeth, future queen of the Belgians, doesn't know yet what it's all about, but she seems happy enough posing with her parents Crown Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde Photo: © PA