|Duchess of Brabant|
|Born||Princess Elisabeth of Belgium|
25 October 2001
Erasmus Hospital, Anderlecht, Brussels, Belgium
|Father||Philippe of Belgium|
|Mother||Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz|
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. 
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.  She was baptized on 9 December 2001 in the chapel of Ciergnon Castle in the Belgian Ardennes, by Godfried Cardinal Danneels, the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels.[ citation needed ] Her godparents are Archduke Amedeo of Austria-Este (paternal cousin), and Countess Hélène d'Udekem d'Acoz (maternal aunt).[ citation needed ]
Elisabeth studied at St John Berchmans College in the Marollen district of Brussels, which had been attended by her older cousins, the children of her paternal aunt, Princess Astrid of Belgium.  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. In 2018, she continued her secondary education at UWC Atlantic College in Wales under the name "Elisabeth de Brabant" and received her International Baccalaureate Diploma in 2020.   She also attended the Yale Young Global Scholars Program at Yale University. 
After her secondary school graduation in 2020, she spent a year at the Royal Military Academy in Brussels, studying social and military sciences.   She began studying history and politics at Lincoln College, University of Oxford, in October 2021,  while continuing to attend the Royal Military Academy's annual summer camps and other practical and theoretical military classes.  She rowed for Lincoln College Boat Club in Torpids, an Oxford rowing race, in February 2023 under the name "Elisabeth de Saxe-Cobourg". 
Elisabeth speaks Dutch, French, German and English,  and also took classes in Mandarin Chinese. 
Elisabeth's first public appearance was on 21 July 2006, when she accompanied her parents during a Te Deum for National Day celebrations in the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula.  A year later, on 13 June 2007, Princess Elisabeth and her parents attended the opening of a new Technopolis youth interactive at Mechelen.  In 2009, Elisabeth gave her name to the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica Station, a Belgian scientific polar research station. 
In September 2011, the nine-year-old princess gave her first public speech (in Dutch) at the opening of Princess Elisabeth Children’s Hospital, part of Ghent University Hospital in Ghent.  She gave her first official speech in 2014 during commemorations of the centenary of the outbreak of World War I in Nieuwpoort.  Princess Elisabeth became godmother of a patrol vessel named Pollux P902 on 6 May 2015 in Zeebrugge.  In April 2019, Elisabeth joined her father King Philippe on a visit to the firefighters of Brussels.  In June 2019, the Duchess of Brabant and her mother traveled to Kenya for the United Nations Children's Fund, where they visited the Kakuma refugee camp.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, Princess Elisabeth had conversations over the phone with elderly people in residential care centers in order to encourage and support them.  On 21 July 2021, she was among the fellow students of the Royal Military Academy Belgium to parade during the Belgian National Day. 
On 12 May 2022, Princess Elisabeth accompanied her aunt Princess Astrid on a visit to St Hilda's College.  There, she and her aunt met St Hilda’s Principal Professor Dame Sarah Springman and Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford Professor Louise Richardson.  On 17 June 2022, together with her mother the Queen, she was among the royal guests invited to the celebrations of the 18th birthday of Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway.  She carried her two first solo official engagements in the following week by christening the Belgian oceanographic research vessel RV Belgica and inaugurating KU Leuven's Princess Elisabeth Additive Manufacturing Lab.   In December 2022, Princess Elisabeth and her brother Prince Emmanuel participated in the Warmathon in Brussels.   In March 2023, Elisabeth and her mother Queen Mathilde traveled to Egypt, where they visited archaeological sites.  On 5 May 2023, Elisabeth accompanied her father to a reception held at Buckingham Palace the evening before the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla of the United Kingdom. 
Elisabeth volunteers to help children with learning difficulties, the elderly, the homeless and people with a handicap. 
Ten years prior to Elisabeth's birth, a new act of succession was put into effect which introduced absolute primogeniture, meaning that she comes first in the line of succession because she is the eldest child. On 21 July 2013, once Elisabeth's father had taken the oath of office as King of the Belgians (his father, King Albert II, having abdicated shortly before), she became heir apparent to the throne and as such bears the title of Duchess of Brabant.  If she ascends to the throne as expected, she will be Belgium's first female monarch. 
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