King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium share photo of children

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium share photo of children

Royally proud parents! King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium share ‘back to school’ portrait of their four children – as eldest Princess Elisabeth heads to Oxford

  • The Belgian royal palace posted the sweet photo of the siblings to Instagram 
  • Fans were delighted with the snap which showed the royals at Castle of Laeken
  • Photo showed heir to the throne Princess Elisabeth, 19, with her three siblings

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium have shared a sweet new portrait of their four children before they return to their studies for the new academic year.

The Belgian royal palace posted the photograph of Princess Elisabeth, 19, Prince Gabriel, 18, Prince Emmanuel, 15, and Princess Eléonore, 13, to its social media accounts on Wednesday.

Fans were delighted with the snap which showed the royal siblings posing within the grounds of their home, Castle of Laeken, in Brussels.

It comes after the royal household announced the heir to the Belgian throne Princess Elisabeth would be heading to the UK this autumn to study a three-year course in History and Politics at Oxford University’s Lincoln College.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium have shared a sweet new portrait (pictured) of their four children before they return to their studies for the new academic year

Elisabeth, dressed casually in jeans, a white shirt and a fawn jacket, beamed at the camera while leaning against a wall.

She added a touch of glitz to her ensemble with a pair of dazzling golden hoop earrings, as well as a smattering of glamorous makeup.

Her brother Gabriel, wearing a red jumper and beige trousers, proudly stood on the steps to the royal residence, while his younger brother Prince Emmanuel, sporting a blue V-neck jumper with a pink shirt, was seated below the duo.

Princess Eléonore, dressed in jeans and a navy sleeveless sweater over a long-sleeved white shirt, was all smiles while standing next to Elisabeth.

The image was shared with the caption: ‘Happy return to all students, parents and teachers!’

Princess Elisabeth will take up a place at Oxford University to study history and politics, it was revealed earlier this week

Both Elisabeth and Gabriel are heading to the UK this year to continue their higher education studies, with Gabriel attending a one-year course at The National Mathematics and Science College in Warwickshire.

Emmanuel is currently studying for his International Baccalaureate at the International School of Brussels, while Eléonore is still at the Heilig-Hartcollege in Tervuren. 

The Belgian royals announced Elisabeth would commence her three-year course in October, adding that the princess will ‘regularly return to Belgium and remain involved in Belgian public life’ while she studies in the UK. 

According to Belgian newspaper Le Soir, the princess completed a written entrance exam in history ‘anonymously’ so that her social status would not affect her marks.

Elisabeth is believed to have chosen the course herself, in agreement with her parents, and reportedly consulted with alumni from various universities and made her decision based on what would be most useful to her in her role as queen later in life.

The princess, who received her International Baccalaureate Diploma last summer, completed a one-year course in social and military sciences at the Royal Military Academy

The princess completed her secondary education at UWC Atlantic College in South Wales – based at a 12th-century castle and dubbed the ‘Hippie Hogwarts’ – where she boarded for 18 months. 

She then headed home to Brussels in March ahead of the government lockdown, which she spent with her parents and siblings.

She then enrolled at the Royal Military Academy – where her father studied for three years as a teenager – in September.

The princess, who received her International Baccalaureate Diploma last summer, completed a one-year course in social and military sciences.

The course is said to teach in-depth about the four components of Belgian defence; Army, Air Force, Navy and Medical.

King Philippe, 60, spent three years at the esteemed institution between 1978 to 1981.

The Belgian royal family, from left, Princess Elisabeth, Prince Gabriel, King Philippe, Princess Eleonore, Queen Mathilde and Prince Emmanuel during a royal visit to the Bokrijk park and open-air museum in Genk, Belgium in June last year

In July Princess Elisabeth was photographed at the Lagland camp in Arlon, where she marched in uniform in formation with her fellow cadets. 

For the officer cadets of the Royal Military Academy (RMA), the camp is part of the last training phase for first year students, and constitutes part of the Initial Military Phase. 

Officially known as Princess Elisabeth, the Duchess of Brabant, she became heir apparent after her grandfather Albert II abdicated in 2013. 

A change in the law a decade ago made it possible for the eldest child, male or female, to ascend the throne in Belgium. She will become the country’s first Queen Regent if she takes up the role.   

In July this year, she took part along with her fellow Royal Military Academy Belgium students in the National Day parade. 

National Day marks the anniversary of the investiture of King Leopold I, the country’s first monarch, in 1831. 

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