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Duchess of Brabant completes one-month military initiation camp

©️Royal Palace, Belgium. Photographer: Bas Bogaerts

Princess Elisabeth of Belgium has successfully completed her one-month military initiation camp in Elsenborn, Belgium.

The 18-year-old heir to the throne received her blue beret on Friday from her father, King Philippe, in his role as commander-in-chief of the army. Her mother, Queen Mathilde, was also in attendance alongside the other parents of her fellow graduates at the Blue Beret Parade at the Royal Military Academy in Brussels.

Not long before the King and Queen arrived, it began to pour rain. The cadets stayed in the rain while their family members were protected under a roof.

Elisabeth, who is known as the Duchess of Brabant as the heir apparent to the Belgian throne, joined 169 other first-year students to begin training on 31 August at the Royal Military Academy. The Duchess of Brabant and her fellow students left for their military initiation phase at Camp Elsenborn on 2 September and will undergo a four-week military initiation phase before the students start their classes in military and social sciences.

The cadets woke up at 5:45 every morning and underwent a rigorous training that included drills, how to handle weapons and how to camouflage themselves.

Last week, the Royal Palace released an array of photographs of the 18-year-old royal at the military academy. All of the photos were taken by Royal Palace photographer, Bas Bogaerts, on 9 and 10 September.

Elisabeth is in a Dutch-speaking group and uses the surname ‘van België’ during her training. She is said to enjoy the long-distance running and works hard at each of the tasks she handed with.

When the Duchess of Brabant eventually ascends the throne, she will be head of the Belgian armed forces, and this training is preparation for that role.

The Princess will turn 19 on 25 October.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites.