On Monday, the 3rd of September, it was back to school for the children in the Belgian Royal Family as King Philippe and Queen Mathilde took their children for their first day of school after the summer holidays.
As the children of the King and Queen attend different schools, the couple had to split to ensure all children were accompanied to their first day of the new school year.
Prince Emmanuel, 12, was dropped off to school by his father, King Philippe. The Prince studies at the Eureka School in Leuven, an institution that focuses on children with learning difficulties.
Prince Gabriel, 15, and Princess Eléonore, 10, were taken to school by their mother, Queen Mathilde. The siblings study at the Sint Jan Berchmans School in Brussels, a school that was also attended by their older cousins, the children of Princess Astrid of Belgium. The Queen and her children were received by the school’s head at the entrance.
The King and Queen’s eldest child, Princess Elisabeth, who as heir to the throne carries the title of Duchess of Brabant, used to attend the same school as her siblings, Gabriel and Eléonore, but as of this year she will be living in Wales where she will be studying for an International Baccalaureate at the United World College (UWC) Atlantic College in the Vale of Glamorgan. The Belgian heir to the throne is expected to graduate in 2020.
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde married on 4 December 1999 in Brussels and became parents in 2001, when their eldest child, Elisabeth, was born. Elisabeth was followed by Gabriel (b. 2003), Emmanuel (b. 2005) and Eléonore (b. 2008). The couple ascended to the throne of Belgium on 21 July 2013, upon the abdication of Philippe’s father, King Albert II.
According to the succession law of Belgium, which was changed in 1991 so the succession would follow the gender-neutral principle of absolute primogeniture, Elisabeth is expected to one day succeed her father as Belgium’s Head of State.