Saturday, July 25, 2009

Princess Elisabeth of Belgium

Here, we see HRH Princess Elisabeth of Belgium with her little sister, Princess Eleonore. Born October 25, 2001, Elisabeth Thérèse Marie Hélène is the eldest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Brabant, Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium. She was named after her great-great-grandmother, the talented and heroic Queen Elisabeth, consort of King Albert I. Due to the abolition of the Salic law in 1991, she is second in line to the throne after her father, heir of the reigning monarch, King Albert II. Thus, she takes precedence over her younger brothers, Gabriel and Emmanuel. When, (God willing!), she ascends the throne, Elisabeth will be Belgium's first Queen Regnant.

Although, as the heir of the Duke of Brabant, Elisabeth ought to have been titled "Count(ess) of Hainaut," the issue created political controversy (even before her birth), as the French "Hainaut" was not considered linguistically neutral. (In Dutch the county is "Henegouwen"). Due to the disputes, a royal decree (sadly, in my opinion) abolished the traditional title of the second-in-line to the throne. (I have to say I think it would have made more sense simply to use both Dutch and French versions of the title).

Since September, 2004, Princess Elisabeth has been studying (in Dutch) at the Sint Jan-Berchmans College in Brussels. It is the first time that a future Belgian monarch's education has begun in Dutch. The little girl has already been appearing at public functions, and a Belgian scientific base in Antarctica, inaugurated February 15, 2009, is named in her honor.

I wish this future Queen a happy, long life and reign.

More photos HERE.

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