Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant
|Duchess of Brabant|
|Born||Princess Elisabeth of Belgium|
(2001-10-25) 25 October 2001
Erasmus Hospital, Anderlecht, Brussels, Belgium
|Father||Philippe of Belgium|
|Mother||Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz|
Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant (Dutch: Elisabeth Theresia Maria Helena; French: Élisabeth Thérèse Marie Hélène; born 25 October 2001) is the heir apparent to the Belgian throne. The eldest child of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, she acquired her position after her grandfather King Albert II abdicated in favour of her father on 21 July 2013.
The first child of the then Duke and Duchess of Brabant, Elisabeth was delivered by Caesarean section at 21:58 CET on 25 October 2001 at the Erasmus Hospital, the teaching hospital of Université libre de Bruxelles in Anderlecht, Brussels. She was baptized on 9 December 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).
Life and education
Elisabeth studied at St John Berchmans College in the Marollen district of Brussels, which had been attended by her older cousins, the children of her paternal aunt, Princess Astrid of Belgium. 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. In 2018, she continued her secondary education at UWC Atlantic College in Wales and received her International Baccalaureate Diploma in 2020. She also attended the Yale Young Global Scholars Program at Yale University.
After her secondary school graduation in 2020, she spent a year at the Royal Military Academy Belgium in Brussels, studying Social and Military Sciences. She began studying history and politics at Lincoln College, University of Oxford in October 2021.
Elisabeth speaks Dutch, French, German and English.
Elisabeth's first public appearance was on 21 July 2006, when she accompanied her parents during a Te Deum for National Day celebrations in the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula. A year later, on 13 June 2007, Princess Elisabeth and her parents attended the opening of a new Technopolis youth interactive at Mechelen.
In 2009, Elisabeth gave her name to the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica Station, a Belgian scientific polar research station. In September 2011, the nine-year-old princess gave her first public speech (in Dutch) at the opening of Princess Elisabeth Children’s Hospital, part of Ghent University Hospital in Ghent. She gave her first official speech in 2014 during commemorations of the centenary of the outbreak of World War I. Princess Elisabeth became godmother of a patrol vessel named Pollux P902 on 6 May 2015 in Zeebrugge. In June 2019, the Duchess of Brabant and her mother traveled to Kenya for the United Nations Children’s Fund, where they visited the Kakuma refugee camp. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Princess Elisabeth had conversations over the phone with elderly people in residential care centers in order to encourage and support them. On 21 July 2021, she was among the fellow students of the Royal Military Academy Belgium to parade during the Belgian National Day.
Elisabeth volunteers to help children with learning difficulties, the elderly, the homeless and people with a handicap.
Ten years prior to Elisabeth's birth, a new act of succession was put into effect which introduced absolute primogeniture, meaning that she comes first in the line of succession because she is the eldest child. On 21 July 2013, once Elisabeth's father had taken the oath of office as King of the Belgians (his father, King Albert II, having abdicated shortly before), she became heir apparent to the throne and as such bears the title of Duchess of Brabant. If she ascends to the throne as expected, she will be Belgium's first female monarch.
- Princess Elisabeth Antarctica (2009)
- Princess Elisabeth Children's Hospital (2011)
- Princess Elisabeth Park (2019)
Titles, styles and honour
- 25 October 2001 – 21 July 2013: Her Royal Highness Princess Elisabeth of Belgium
- 21 July 2013 – present: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Brabant
- Belgium: Knight Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold (25 October 2019)
- Brumfield, Ben (21 July 2013). "Belgium's King Albert II gives up throne to son". CNN. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
- "Les premières déclarations du Prince Philippe" (in French). 26 October 2001.
Le Prince Philippe a annoncé, dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi à la presse, que la Princesse Élisabeth Thérèse Marie Hélène était née à 21h58 par césarienne.
- "Princess Elisabeth of Belgium to study in Wales". BBC News. 22 March 2018.
- "Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant". The Belgian Monarchy Official Website.
- "Crown Princess Elisabeth of Belgium, 18, Enrolls in Military Academy: 'The Country Can Count on Me'". People. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
- "Studies Prinses Elisabeth | De Belgische Monarchie". The Belgian Monarchy (in Dutch). Retrieved 31 August 2021.
- "Remarquable: la princesse Elisabeth s'exprime parfaitement dans les trois langues nationales (vidéo)". 18 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- "PHOTOS: Princess Elisabeth of Belgium Gives A Speech". HuffPost. 12 September 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- Ilse, Jesse (25 October 2019). "Who is Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant?". royalcentral.co.uk. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
- "Belgian princess in Kenya for first official trip abroad". Brussels Times. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
- "Prinses Elisabeth marcheert in het militair defilé". Het Nieuwsblad (in Flemish). Retrieved 24 July 2021.
- Text in French of the 2001 amendment: « Le titre de Duc de Brabant ou de Duchesse de Brabant sera toujours porté, à l'avenir, par le Prince ou la Princesse, fils aîné ou fille aînée du Roi, et, à défaut, par le Prince ou la Princesse, fils aîné ou fille aînée du fils aîné ou de la fille aînée du Roi. »
- "The King, the Queen and their Family". Monarchie.be. The Belgian Monarchy. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
In the past, only boys could become Kings. The Constitution was changed in 1991: Princesses can now also ascend the throne and become Queen. Princess Elisabeth, who is the eldest of four children of King Philippe, is therefore the heiress of the Belgian monarchy. When she succeeds her father King Philippe, Princess Elisabeth will be the first woman to become Head of State in Belgium.
- "Palácio em festa pelo 18º aniversário da princesa Elizabeth". Luxemburger Wort - Edição em Português (in Portuguese). 24 October 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
- Times, The Brussels. "New windmill zone named after Princess Elisabeth". www.brusselstimes.com. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
- Philippe, Koning der Belgen (12 July 2019). "Koninklijk besluit houdende vaststelling van het wapen van het Koninklijk Huis en van zijn leden" (PDF). Moniteur Belge/ Belgisch Staatsblad. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
- Belgian Monarchy-Princess Elisabeth