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Back to school with King Philippe

Although there is no training to become a monarch, King Philippe has tried to prepare himself for his role. This all started with the choices he and his parents made regarding his education.

King Philippe was the first Belgian Crown Prince who did not receive a private education, but instead, he attended a public school. He attended primary school in French in Brussels. As King Philippe was not born as a Crown Prince, as his uncle was King but in his marriage remained childless, there is little known about his education before he attended high school.

At the age of twelve, then-Prince Philippe attended high school at the college Saint-Michel in Etterbeek, close to Brussels. During the first three years of high school, he was educated in French. When he turned 15, he switched schools and headed to Saint-Andries, Bruges. There he attended the famous and prestigious abbey school of Zevenkerken. The abbey school is still a Dutch boarding school so Philippe only went home during the weekends and holidays. The school is still a Catholic school – a Jesuit college according to the rule of Saint Benedict. It is challenging to enrole your children in the school as the tuition fee is very high, and there is only a place for a small amount of children.

After graduating from high school in 1978, the future King of Belgium went to the Belgian Royal Military Academy in the 118th “Promotion Toutes Armes”. He followed his training at the Belgian Air Forces. He graduated in 1981 after a short military career. Then, he followed a course to become Paracommando at the training centre of Marche-Les-Dames. Today he is General of the Belgian Army as it is the tradition for every Belgian King. He is also an officer, Paracommando, pilot of military airplaines and helicopter pilot. Until recently, he owned his own helicopter. He regularly flew over his own properties, but after many complaints from his neighbours, he decided to sell the helicopter.

His Majesty continued his education abroad. He attended the Trinity College of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. There he started his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He eventually obtained his Master of Arts in Political Science at the University of Stanford in California, in the United States of America in 1985.

The following eight years, then-Prince Philippe tried to get to know more about Belgium and the Belgians as he travelled through the country and met people from different walks of life. He also travelled the world to learn more about certain leaders and citizens. Additionally, he followed the European integration process from close by. In 1993 his uncle King Baudouin died unexpectedly, and he became the Crown Prince of Belgium. From that moment on, his official engagements became his main priority.

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