Happy 18th Birthday HRH Princess Elisabeth of the Belgians, Duchess of Brabant.
HRH Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant (Elisabeth Theresia Maria Helena), is the heir apparent to the Belgian throne. The eldest child of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians, Elisabeth was delivered by Caesarean section at 21:58 CET on October 25, 2001 at the Erasmus Hospital, the teaching hospital of Université libre de Bruxelles in Anderlecht, Brussels.
She was baptized on December 9, 2001 in the chapel of Ciergnon Castle in the Belgian Ardennes, by Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels. Her godparents are Archduke Amedeo of Austria-Este (paternal cousin), and Countess Hélène d’Udekem d’Acoz (maternal aunt).
An official stamp on the occasion of the eighteenth birthday of Princess Elisabeth has been released. The photos was taken by King Philippe in the garden of the Castle of Laeken.
Princess Elisabeth studied at Sint-Jan Berchmanscollege in the Marollen district of Brussels, which had been attended by her older cousins, the children of her paternal aunt, the Archduchess of Austria-Este. This is a significant change in the habits of the royal family, as it is the first time that a future Belgian monarch’s education has begun in Dutch. Elisabeth speaks Dutch, French, German and English.
On 21 July 2013, once her father had taken the oath of office as King of the Belgians(his father, King Albert II, having abdicated shortly before), Princess Elisabeth became heir apparent to the throne and as such bears the title of Duchess of Brabant.
Elisabeth is currently studying at UWC Atlantic College in Wales, with the goal of completing the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in the May 2020 session.
Ten years prior to Elisabeth’s birth, a new act of succession was put into effect which introduced absolute primogeniture, meaning that Elisabeth comes first in the line of succession because she is the eldest child. If she ascends to the throne as expected, she will be Belgium’s first queen regnant.
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Brabant, age 12, in 2014.
Styles and Titles
* 25 October 2001 – 21 July 2013: Her Royal Highness Princess Elisabeth of Belgium
* 21 July 2013 – present: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Brabant
Though the eldest son of an heir apparent was traditionally titled Count of Hainaut, Elisabeth was not granted the title by royal decree following her birth. Instead the title was abolished, as French “Hainaut” was not considered linguistically neutral for the title to be conferred on her.