Princess Elisabeth of Belgium, 22, is Moving to the U.S. — Find Out Why

Princess Elisabeth of Belgium has some exciting plans on the calendar — she’s moving to the U

Published Time: 08.05.2024 - 18:31:09 Modified Time: 08.05.2024 - 18:31:09

Princess Elisabeth of Belgium has some exciting plans on the calendar — she’s moving to the U.S.!

On May 7, the Belgian Royal Palace announced that the 22-year-old heir to the throne is relocating stateside to enroll in a master’s program at Harvard University this summer.

"After having recently successfully completed the admission tests, Her Royal Highness Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant, will begin a master's degree in public policy this summer at Harvard University (Harvard Kennedy School) in Boston," the palace said in a statement, per a translation.

"This two-year course will complete her university education following her bachelor's degree in History and Politics at the University of Oxford (Lincoln College)," it continued. "The Princess was also selected for an ‘Honorary Award’ from the Fulbright program, the international exchange program in the field of education of the United States Department of State."

The update from the court — including the prestigious Fulbright recognition — was shared along with one of Princess Elisabeth’s glam birthday portraits. The photos, released on the eve of her big day in October, showed her smiling in a navy tank with a high illusion neckline and sparkling embroidery.

The Harvard news comes as the Duchess of Brabant continues her education in preparation for a bright destiny ahead. As the firstborn child of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, she follows her father in the line of succession and is poised to become Belgium's first queen regnant one day. King Philippe, 64, and Queen Mathilde, 51, are also parents to Prince Gabriel, 20, Prince Emmanuel, 18, and Princess Eléonore, 16.

Like many young modern heirs, Princess Elisabeth has focused on her edu -

cation and occasionally dipped her toes into official duties by shadowing her parents. In March, she joined her dad at the Castle of Laeken to receive a special guest — former U.S. President Barack Obama.

The future queen previously earned her International Baccalaureate from the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales (a.k.a. Hippie Hogwarts, a popular choice for teens from several royal families) and trained at the Royal Military Academy in Brussels, where she took an officer’s oath in September 2023.

It's custom for those directly in the line of succession to train with their national military, and King Philippe did the same before his accession. His daughter’s U.S. move for school will also follow in his footsteps in another way, as the King studied at Stanford University in California for two years to earn a master’s degree in political science. 

When officials announced that Princess Elisabeth would study at Oxford in England, it was emphasized that she would frequently travel back to her home country to stay connected.

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

"The Princess will return to Belgium regularly and remain involved in Belgian public life," the statement said.

In December 2023, the young royal visited the Princess Elisabeth Children's Hospital in Ghent, spending time with patients and staff at the children’s hospital named in her honor. The stop was significant, as it marked her first solo visit to the medical center she inaugurated at age 9 in 2011, The Brussels Times reported.


Related Articles

Follow Us