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Royal News

A future queen’s famous moment in an election that has caused political turmoil in the country she will one day rule

Princess Elisabeth, the Duchess of Brabant, heir to the Belgian throne, has voted for the first time.

Joined by her siblings—Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel and Princess Eléonore—the four spent about 40 minutes queuing at the Laeken Sports Centre to cast their votes in the federal election.

The Belgian Royal Court shared photos of Princess Elisabeth voting, and shared that the four children of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde are among 800,000 young people eligible to vote for the first time in this election.

Voting in Belgium is compulsory, and failure to do so can result in a fine, and this was the first time the four children of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde were eligible to vote.

King Albert II and Queen Paola were also photographed voting in Laeken. For the duration of his reign, which lasted from 1993 to 2013, King Albert and Queen Paola did not vote in order to remain impartial. Since the abdication, the couple vote once more.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde now find themselves in this position: to remain politically neutral, they do not vote.

According to HLN, a Belgian news agency, Princess Elisabeth, Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel and Princess Eléonore are registered to vote in French. The four also replied in French when finished, saying “Merci beaucoup” and “Bonne journée.”

The elder siblings all voted in the European Parliamentary, the Chamber, the Regional and the Community Parliaments; Princess Eléonore was only eligible to vote in the European Parliamentary election.

Following the results, the Belgian Prime Minister resigned.

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.