Her Royal Highness Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant, has successfully got through the selection process and will begin her studies at the United World College of the Atlantic (UWC) in Wales this summer. The UWC is a 40-minute drive from Cardiff and brings together teenagers from 16 to 18-years-old from different countries and culture to “promote mutual understanding.” The UWC has 17 schools worldwide; the first one, the one Princess Elisabeth will attend, was founded in 1962. The founder, German pedagogue Kurt Hahn, believed that his educational system could lead to a quicker resolution of international conflict.
The 16-year-old heir to the Belgian throne is currently attending the Sint-Jan Berchmanscollege in Brussels, which was previously attended by her older cousins. If all goes well, she will graduate with an Internationale Baccalauréat in 2020.
King Willem-Alexander is an alumnus of the school. He attended the school from 1983 until 1985 and is currently also the Dutch patron of the school. The Governor-General of Canada, Julie Payette, who Princess Elisabeth’s parents met during last week’s state visit to Canada, is also a former student.
The selection process is quite intense. Candidates are expected to write an essay, perform several group projects, show their interests, explain what they have already done for the people around them and explain their view of the world. This is followed by several interviews where they must show their motivation. Their financial status is not taken into account and students that can not afford the school, will receive a scholarship. This will not be the case for Princess Elisabeth.
Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange, heir to the Dutch throne, was also rumoured to attend this school in the future, albeit the school in China. This was later proven to be untrue.