Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant
|Duchess of Brabant|
|French: Élisabeth Thérèse Marie Hélène
Dutch: Elisabeth Theresia Maria Helena
|House||House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
|Father||King Philippe of Belgium|
|Mother||Queen Mathilde of Belgium|
25 October 2001 |
Anderlecht, Brussels, Belgium
|Belgian Royal Family|
Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant (French: Élisabeth Thérèse Marie Hélène, Dutch: Elisabeth Theresia Maria Helena; born 25 October 2001), is the heiress apparent to the Belgian throne. The eldest child of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, she acquired her position and ducal title after her grandfather King Albert II abdicated in favour of her father on 21 July 2013.
Birth and baptism
The first child of the then Duke and Duchess of Brabant, Elisabeth was delivered by caesarian section at 9:58 pm at the Hôpital Erasme (Erasmus Hospital) 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, her cousin, and Countess Hélène d'Udekem d'Acoz, her aunt. She was named for her paternal great-great-grandmother Elisabeth of Bavaria.
Ten years prior to Elisabeth's birth, a new act of succession was put into effect which created absolute cognatic primogeniture, meaning that Elisabeth comes first in the line of succession because she is the eldest child. If she ascends the throne, she will be Belgium's first queen regnant.
The eldest son of the heir apparent was traditionally titled Count of Hainaut. It was therefore expected that a new royal decree would be issued, granting the title of Countess of Hainaut to Princess Elisabeth. A royal decree was indeed issued, but, despite all predictions, it didn't grant her the title, but abolished it, because the French "Hainaut" was not considered linguistically neutral.
Education and royal duties
Princess Elisabeth is currently a student at Sint-Jan Berchmanscollege in Marolles, Brussels, which was attended previously 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 also attends dance classes conducted in Dutch at the Municipal Music Academy in Asse, in Flemish Brabant.
The princess attended her first official royal duty in 2006 when she was present at the Te Deum in honour of Belgian National Day. In 2007, she accompanied her father to the opening of a Science Museum. She also attended the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition and the presentation at the Royal Palace of a model of the Belgian Antarctic station which bears her name, the Princess Elisabeth Base.
Duchess of Brabant
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 heiress apparent to the throne and as such bears the title of Duchess of Brabant. Elisabeth has joined the Crown Princess of Sweden and the Princess of Orange as Europe's heiresses apparent to monarchies.
Styles and Titles
- 25 October 2001–21 July 2013: Her Royal Highness Princess Elisabeth of Belgium
- 21 July 2013–present: Her Royal Highness Princess Elisabeth of Belgium, Duchess of Brabant
Coat of arms
|Ancestors of Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant|
- Belgium's King Albert II gives up throne to son
- Princess Elisabeth of Belgium enjoys herself at science museum at The Insider
- Elisabeth does a Bob the Builder at science museum
- Belgian Antarctic Research Station – Princess Elisabeth Station: – First zero emission station
- 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. »
Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant
Cadet branch of the House of WettinBorn: 25 October 2001
|Lines of succession|
||Line of succession to the Belgian throne||Succeeded by
|Duchess of Brabant