The Belgian Postal Service have announced their new stamps for 2019, and one of them will celebrate the eighteenth birthday of Princess Elisabeth. The stamp will be issued on the 21st October, four days before her actual birthday, although the design is currently being kept secret. Princess Elisabeth is the eldest child of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde and holds the title of Duchess of Brabant as heir to the Belgian throne. In the early 1990s, the succession law in Belgium was changed to absolute primogeniture, even though at that time there was no likelihood of the change being necessary.
In addition to the stamp for the Princess, the first stamp of the year to be issued on the 28th January celebrates the four hundredth anniversary of perhaps the best-known statue in Belgium – “Manneken Pis”. The bronze statue was first cast and erected in 1619 in Brussels, though the current statue is a cast copy done in 1965 – the original is kept on display at the Brussels Museum. The statue is dressed on occasions and has over a thousand costumes which have been donated through the years.
Princess Elisabeth has two younger brothers and a sister; Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel, and Princess Eléonore. She is fluent in Dutch, French, German and English and is currently studying in the United Kingdom at UWC Atlantic College for an International Baccalaureate Diploma programme which she aims to complete in around eighteen months.
As well as her studies, she has begun making official visits with her parents and has the honour that the Belgian Antarctic station bears her name – Princess Elisabeth Antarctica. Though she has not visited the station as yet, she has seen a scale model of the station at an exhibition at a presentation at the Royal Palace. When the time comes for Princess Elisabeth to ascend the Belgian throne, she will be Belgian’s first Queen Regnant.