King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium have shared a sweet new portrait of their four children before returning to their studies for the new academic year.
The Belgian royal palace posted the photo of Princess Elisabeth, 19, Prince Gabriel, 18, Prince Emmanuel, 15, and Princess Eléonore, 13, on his social media accounts on Wednesday.
Fans raved about the photo showing the royal siblings posing in the grounds of their home, Castle of Laeken, in Brussels.
It comes after the royal household announced that heir to the Belgian throne Princess Elisabeth would be going to the UK this fall to study a three-year history and politics course at Oxford University’s Lincoln College.
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium have shared a sweet new portrait (photo) of their four children before returning to their studies for the new academic year
Elisabeth, dressed casually in jeans, a white shirt and a fawn jacket, beamed at the camera as she leaned against a wall.
She added a touch of glitter to her ensemble with a pair of dazzling gold hoop earrings, as well as a bit of glamorous makeup.
Her brother Gabriel, dressed in a red sweater and beige trousers, stood proudly on the steps to the royal residence, while his younger brother Prince Emmanuel, dressed in a blue V-neck sweater and pink shirt, sat among the duo.
Princess Eléonore, dressed in jeans and a navy blue sleeveless sweater over a white long-sleeved shirt, was all smiles as she stood next to Elisabeth.
The image was shared with the caption: ‘Happy return to all students, parents and teachers!’
Princess Elisabeth will take a seat at Oxford University to study history and politics, it was revealed earlier this week
Both Elisabeth and Gabriel are going to the UK this year to continue their studies in higher education, with Gabriel completing a one-year course at the National Mathematics and Science College in Warwickshire.
Emmanuel is currently studying for his International Baccalaureate at the International School of Brussels, while Eléonore is still at the Sacred Heart College in Tervuren.
The Belgian royal family announced that Elisabeth would begin her three-year education in October, adding that the princess will “regularly return to Belgium and remain involved in Belgian public life” while studying in the UK.
According to the Belgian newspaper Le Soir, the princess passed a written history entrance exam ‘anonymously’ so that her social status would not affect her grades.
It is believed that Elisabeth chose the course herself, in consultation with her parents, and reportedly consulted with alumni from various universities and made her decision based on what would be most helpful to her in her role as queen later in her life.
The princess, who obtained her International Baccalaureate Diploma last summer, completed a one-year course in social and military sciences at the Royal Military Academy.
The princess completed her secondary education at UWC Atlantic College in South Wales – located in a 12th-century castle and dubbed it ‘Hippie Hogwarts’ – where she boarded for 18 months.
She then went home to Brussels in March, ahead of the government shutdown, which she spent with her parents and siblings.
Then in September she enrolled at the Royal Military Academy – where her father studied for three years as a teenager.
The princess, who obtained her International Baccalaureate Diploma last summer, completed a one-year course in social and military sciences.
The course is said to teach in depth about the four components of Belgian defence; Army, Air Force, Navy and Medical.
King Filip, 60, spent three years at the esteemed institution between 1978 and 1981.
The Belgian Royal Family, from left, Princess Elisabeth, Prince Gabriel, King Philippe, Princess Eleonore, Queen Mathilde and Prince Emmanuel during a royal visit to the Bokrijk Park and Open Air Museum in Genk, Belgium in June last year
In July, Princess Elisabeth was photographed at the Lagland camp in Arlon, where she marched in uniform with her fellow cadets.
For the officer cadets of the Royal Military Academy (RMA), the camp is part of the final training phase for freshmen and is part of the Initial Military Phase.
Officially known as Princess Elisabeth, the Duchess of Brabant, she became heir to the throne after her grandfather Albert II abdicated in 2013.
A change in the law ten years ago made it possible for the eldest child, male or female, to ascend the throne in Belgium. If she takes on the role, she will become the country’s first queen regent.
In July of this year she took part in the National Day Parade together with her fellow students from the Royal Military Academy Belgium.
National Day marks the anniversary of the inauguration of King Leopold I, the country’s first monarch, in 1831.