Ladies and Gentelman,
I am happy to celebrate my eighteenth birthday here with you. I will always remember this special moment.
In the past eighteen years, I have had many enriching moments. They have made me who I am today. Turning eighteen is a transition into adulthood. A moment where I reflect on everything I have been given and all the opportunities that have been offered to me. And now, I only feel gratitude.
First of all, there is my family. They have always been there to support and encourage me. Together we form a strong team - and of course, I am especially thinking of my brothers and sister, Gabriel, Emmanuel and Eléonore. Thank you, mama, for always being there and listening. Thanks you, dad, for your trust. I know I can always count on you.
I also want to thank my teachers. It's nice to see you here today. Your knowledge and infectious enthusiasm has broadened my view of the world and opened the way to art, music, and sport.
I am also happy that the Princess Elisabeth Hospital, with which I have a special relationship, is here today with some of their patients.
Thank you also to those of you who, like me, are celebrating their eighteenth birthday this year. Thank you for the wonderful messages you have brought here and for all the other testimonies I have received. They show a very clear view of things and also radiate a lot of wisdom. I share your concern for the future, in particular, the climate, and the fact that we have to find a united answer to that. I believe in the future - because I see how much my generation is committed to this. I share with you the same hope and will join you in making a difference.
Eighteen years ... A step that I take with great optimism. I realize 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.
Belgium can count on me.