Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant

Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant (Dutch: Elisabeth Theresia Maria Helena; French: Élisabeth Thérèse Marie Hélène; born 25 October 2001), is the heir apparent to the Belgian throne. The eldest child of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, she acquired her position after her grandfather King Albert II abdicated in favour of her father on 21 July 2013.[1]

Princess Elisabeth
Duchess of Brabant
Princess Elisabeth in 2017.
Born (2001-10-25) 25 October 2001
Erasmus Hospital, Anderlecht, Brussels, Belgium
Full name
French: Élisabeth Thérèse Marie Hélène
Dutch: Elisabeth Theresia Maria Helena
FatherPhilippe of Belgium
MotherMathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz
ReligionRoman Catholicism


The first child of the then Duke and Duchess of Brabant, Elisabeth was delivered by Caesarean section at 21:58 CET on 25 October 2001 at the Erasmus Hospital, the teaching hospital of Université libre de Bruxelles in Anderlecht, Brussels.[2] 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 (paternal cousin), and Countess Hélène d'Udekem d'Acoz (maternal aunt).

Life and education

Princess Elisabeth studied at Sint-Jan Berchmanscollege in the Marollen district of Brussels, which had been attended 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 speaks Dutch, French, German and English.[3]

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 heir apparent to the throne and as such bears the title of Duchess of Brabant.[4]

Elisabeth is currently studying at UWC Atlantic College in Wales, with the goal of completing the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in the May 2020 session.[5]


Ten years prior to Elisabeth's birth, a new act of succession was put into effect which introduced absolute primogeniture, meaning that Elisabeth comes first in the line of succession because she is the eldest child. If she ascends to the throne as expected, she will be Belgium's first queen regnant.[6]


Titles, styles and honour

  • 25 October 2001 – 21 July 2013: Her Royal Highness Princess Elisabeth of Belgium
  • 21 July 2013 – present: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Brabant



Coat of arms of Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant
As Duchess of Brabant the Princess is entitled to use a coat of arms which was stipulated in the Royal Decree of King Philippe in 2019.[7]
12 July 2019
Princely crown of Belgium
On a lozenge, sable, a lion rampant or, armed and langued gules (Belgium), on the shoulder an escutcheon barry of ten sable and or, a crancelin vert (Wettin), overall a label of three points or.
Two lions guardant proper each supporting a lance or with two banners of the Duchy of Brabant.
French: L'union fait la force
Dutch: Eendracht maakt macht
German: Einigkeit macht stark
Other elements
The whole is placed on a mantle purpure with ermine lining, fringes and tassels or and ensigned with the Royal crown of Belgium.


  1. Brumfield, Ben. "Belgium's King Albert II gives up throne to son". CNN. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  2. "Les premières déclarations du Prince Philippe" (in French). 26 October 2001. Le Prince Philippe a annoncé, dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi à la presse, que la Princesse Élisabeth Thérèse Marie Hélène était née à 21h58 par césarienne.
  3. "Remarquable: la princesse Elisabeth s'exprime parfaitement dans les trois langues nationales (vidéo)". Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  4. 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. »
  5. "Princess Elisabeth of Belgium to study in Wales". BBC News.
  6. "The King, the Queen and their Family". The Belgian Monarchy. Retrieved 12 June 2018. In the past, only boys could become Kings. The Constitution was changed in 1991: Princesses can now also ascend the throne and become Queen. Princess Elisabeth, who is the eldest of four children of King Philippe, is therefore the heiress of the Belgian monarchy. When she succeeds her father King Philippe, Princess Elisabeth will be the first woman to become Head of State in Belgium.
  7. Philippe, Koning der Belgen (12 July 2019). "Koninklijk besluit houdende vaststelling van het wapen van het Koninklijk Huis en van zijn leden" (PDF). MONITEUR BELGE/ BELGISCH STAATSBLAD. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant
Born: 25 October 2001
Lines of succession
Line of succession to the Belgian throne Succeeded by
Prince Gabriel
Belgian royalty
Preceded by
Duchess of Brabant
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