23 FEBRUARY 2004

The eldest of King Albert II and Queen Paola's eight grandchildren reached the landmark age of 18 at the weekend, an event which brought together the three generations to ring in the special occasion in style.

Prince Amedeo, son of Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz, was the guest of honour at the party, held at the family's home in Brussels. Surrounded by his parents, grandparents and younger siblings Maria, Joachim, Louisa and Laetitia, a smiling Amedeo had the honour of slicing his massive strawberry-covered birthday cake before his mum led a toast in his honour.

The cosy family affair marks the latest celebration in a banner year for the Belgian royals, in which they've welcomed with much fanfare, numerous new members into the fold. In 2003, three grandchildren were born – Prince Gabriel, Princess Laetitia and Princess Louise – and King Albert's son Prince Laurent wed Claire Coombs in April.

Photo: ©
Princess Astrid toasts her son Amedeo, the guest of honour, as King Albert II looks onPhoto: © AFPClick on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
Queen Paola was also on hand to help her eldest grandson ring in his 18th birthdayPhoto: © AFP

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