LOS ANGELES - Fiercely shielded from the spotlight by their father, Michael Jackson's children have slowly emerged from behind their famous masks and veils in the year since the pop superstar's death.
Under the care of their grandmother, Katherine Jackson, Prince, 13, Paris, 12 and Blanket, 8, have made a handful of public appearances offering fleeting glimpses of their identities after years of being cosseted.
The world's first introduction came at the memorial service for Jackson at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles last July, where all three appeared on the stage surrounded by their father's siblings.
Paris' tearful tribute to her father became the abiding image of the event, the first time any of Jackson's children had spoken in public.
"Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just wanted to say I love him so much," she told the hushed audience as she broke down in tears.
In January Paris and Prince returned to the Staples Centre, this time to accept a posthumous lifetime achievement Grammy for their father.
"We're proud to be here to accept this award on behalf of our father," Prince told the audience.
"First we'd like to thank God for watching over us for these past seven months and our grandma and grandpa for their love and support.
"We'd also like to thank the fans. Our father loved you so much since you were always there for him."
The legal fate of Jackson's three children was settled relatively swiftly, with Katherine being awarded custody in August last year, heading off concerns of a protracted custody battle with the singer's ex-wife Debbie Rowe.
The judge overseeing legal issues concerning Michael Jackson's estate has since said the children are prospering under the care of their grandmother at the family compound in the suburb of Encino.
"It looks like the children are doing really wonderfully with their grandmother guardian," Los Angeles superior court Judge Mitchell Beckloff told a hearing last year.
Katherine, 80, has meanwhile revealed the children, who previously were home-schooled, will enroll in school for the first time later this year. - Sapa-AFP