The life of Princess Elisabeth, the Duchess of Brabant, has in some ways been a tale of modern feminism
Khakis, a machine gun, and not a tiara in sight: just-released portraits show Princess Elisabeth of Belgium in her first weeks at Brussels Royal Military Academy. In attending the academy, Princess Elisabeth, 18, is following in the footsteps of her father King Philippe, who spent a year there preparing to take the throne. But for a crown princess, not a prince, to do so is relatively new. Indeed, the life of Princess Elisabeth, the Duchess of Brabant, has in some ways been a tale of modern feminism. In 1991, ten years before she was born, the constitution was changed in Belgium to allow absolute primogeniture, meaning the first born child of a monarch succeeds them, regardless of their sex. Given that Princess Elisabeth is the eldest child of current reigning King Philippe, she is the next heir to the throne, coming before her younger brothers Princes Gabriel and Emmanuel in the line of succession, as well as her younger sister Princess Eléonore. If Princess Elisabeth succeeds her father, as expected, she will be the first reigning queen in the history of Belgium. Perhaps it should not be a surprise to see Princess Elisabeth pursuing outdoor pursuits at military college. She is a keen sportswoman and enjoys tennis, skiing and trekking. Over lockdown, the Belgian Royal Family released pictures of her passing the time with running.