25 October 2017

Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant

It's hard to believe that Princess Elisabeth of Belgium is growing up so quickly. She is the first female heir in Belgian history, born after the laws were changed to allow female succession for the first time and to allow succession to follow birth order rather than putting brothers in line ahead of sisters.

Elisabeth Therese Marie Helene was born on October 25, 2001 as the first child of the current King Philippe and his Belgian-born wife Mathilde. Two brothers and a sister followed at regular intervals. The princess is currently attending a Dutch-speaking school, but she also speaks French and English and is now learning German.

Elisabeth, who was given the heir's title of Duchess of Brabant when her father became king in 2013, has already taken on several official functions and is involved with numerous charitable activities. Her top areas of interest are children with learning difficulties, the elderly, the homeless, and people with handicaps. The Princess Elisabeth Children's Hospital at Ghent University Hospital is named in her honor as is the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica Research Station. She gave her first public speech in 2014 at a World War I commemoration.

Like most royals, Elisabeth enjoys a variety of sport and cultural interests. Tennis, snow skiing, hiking and scuba diving top her list of athletics. She has been studying piano for many years and also enjoys cooking.

What does the future hold for Elisabeth? As the future queen, she will likely pursue a university education like her cousins Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. She may also spend some time in the military and/or diplomatic service.

[2019 Update: Princess Elisabeth is currently studying at the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales. According to her bio on the Belgian monarchy's official web page, "She volunteers to help children with learning difficulties, the elderly, the homeless and people with a handicap."

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1 comment:

  1. Girl! You'll be a woman soon! After Neil Diamond's song ;-)