The Duchess of Brabant is in her final year of studies at the University of Oxford
Happy birthday, Princess Elisabeth of Belgium!
The future queen turned 22 on Wednesday, and the Belgian Royal Palace released two formal portraits to celebrate the occasion. Princess Elisabeth was all smiles in the set, where she wore a navy tank with a high allusion neckline and sparkling embroidery tucked into navy trousers. The Duchess of Brabant (as she’s also styled!) completed the look with diamond drop earrings, which appear to be the same pair she sported for Prince Christian of Denmark’s birthday bash last week.
“🇧🇪 Princess Elisabeth celebrates her 22nd birthday today! 🎉 She recently started the final year of her bachelor's degree in history and political science at the University of Oxford,” courtiers captioned the snaps across social media.
In the classroom, Elisabeth is working towards completing a three-year course in history and politics at Lincoln College at Oxford as she prepares for a bright destiny ahead. As the firstborn child of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, the royal follows her father in the line of succession and is poised to become Belgium's first queen regnant.
🇧🇪 La Princesse Elisabeth fête son 22ème anniversaire aujourd’hui ! 🎉 Elle vient d’entamer la dernière année de son bachelier en Histoire et Politique à l’Université d’Oxford.
📷 Bas Bogaerts pic.twitter.com/TLwEagW1zk
— Belgian Royal Palace (@MonarchieBe) October 25, 2023
Ten years before Elisabeth was born, in 1991, Belgium introduced absolute primogeniture through a new act of succession, ending centuries of male-preference primogeniture. The move paved the way for female descendants of King Albert II, Philippe’s father, to accede for the first time, based on birth order.
Following in her father’s footsteps on the road to the throne, Princess Elisabeth trained at the Royal Military Academy in Brussels in 2020 and continued tradition by taking the officer’s oath in September. The future sovereign swore loyalty to the King, constitution and law in a ceremony attended by her parents, brothers Prince Gabriel, 20, and Prince Emmanuel, 18, and sister Princess Eléonore, 15. The royal family posed for a photo together to mark the banner moment, where Gabriel also wore his uniform as a student of the Royal Military Academy.
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"Her military career is slightly different to usual," Colonel Thierry Pirenne of the Royal Military Academy told Belgian broadcaster VRT of the princess’ trajectory. “She was obliged to perform certain activities, including stays abroad. To get that all done, choices had to be made. As a result, she unfortunately could not take the full training course at the RMA, but she was able to take the oath."
Princess Elisabeth’s royal responsibilities also come with some glamorous fun — like Prince Christian’s birthday party! The future king of Denmark turned 18 on Oct. 15 and was fêted with a gala at Christiansborg Palace. Royalty from around the world traveled to Copenhagen for the evening event, where Elisabeth was among the future European monarchs who posed for a group picture.
Prince Christian was all smiles with the Duchess of Brabant, Princess Estelle of Sweden, 11, Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, 19, Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands, 19, and Princess Elisabeth in the snap that the Danish Royal House shared to Instagram. Like Prince Christian, the princesses all follow their parents — Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands — in the line of succession as their first-born children.
The birthday gala came with a glamorous dress code, and Princess Elisabeth sparkled in the Wolfers Tiara for the evening event. The royal had a true princess moment when she entered the party at the palace in beige gloves and a ballgown with Princess Catharina-Amalia, a fellow future queen and close family friend.
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