Princess Mathilde and Prince Phillippe at Arlington National Cemetery on Sunday. (Luis Alvarez/ Associated Press)

Which brings us to Princess Mathilde of Belgium, who came to D.C. Sunday with her husband, Prince Philippe, and a delegation of 300 Belgian businessmen to drum up investment and trade for their small country. The princess, 38, was a speech therapist when she married into the royal family in 1999 and now lives the life of a low-key modern monarch: Raising four young kids, embracing causes, preparing to be queen one day.

Princess Mathilde greets Laura Liswood at Monday's Council of Women World Leaders luncheon at the residence. (Embassy of Belgium 2011)

Mathilde (tall, slender, very pretty, no crown) mingled easily with the guests, then used the opportunity to talk about global violence and female empowerment. “I’m committed to adding my voice to all those who express deep concern about the pervasiveness of violence against women and girls,” she said earnestly in heavily accented English. “No country is immune from this scourge.”

Can a princess make a difference?

“She can talk about anything but chooses to talk about hard topics,” Liswood said. “Monarchy gets press, visibility, respect — they can add credibility and voice to the issue.”

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