Damp clothes, dodgy phone signal and ‘mildewed showers’ await Belgium’s Princess Elisabeth when she starts at a Welsh boarding school this week, a former student has claimed.
The royal heiress is getting settled into her new home at
And according to a report in
Former student Louise Callaghan believes the 16-year-old future queen is likely to be ‘the most normal person there’ and won’t get any ‘special treatment’ despite her royal credentials.
Belgium’s Princess Elisabeth packs her bags before flying to the UK to take up classes at a top private college. Elisabeth – first in line to the Belgian throne – will swap her palace home near Brussels for a dorm in Atlantic College in South Wales this week
United World College of the Atlantic is located in the 12th century St Donat’s Castle in the Vale of Glamorgan, pictured in file image. Some 350 students study at the school outside Cardiff, and their most recent recruit is Belgium’s future queen, 16-year-old Princess Elisabeth
The Duchess of Brabant will also need to acclimatise to ‘damp clothes’ courtesy of the famously wet Welsh weather.
Alumni include Dutch king Willem-Alexander and Princess Raiyah of Jordan, but students are just as likely to rub shoulders with ‘refugees from west Africa’ and ‘California hippies,’ according to the report.
Elisabeth – first in line to the Belgian throne – swapped the comfort of her palace home near Brussels for her dorm in the Vale of Glamorgan last week.
Her home for the next two years is the crumbling, 12th century St Donat’s Castle in the Vale of Glamorgan where she will study the International Baccalaureate.
The Belgian royal family posted snaps of the princess saying goodbye to her brothers and sister – and the family Westie – at the royal palace of Laeken in Brussels last week.
It was announced in March that the eldest child of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde had passed the entry exams required to attend.
A snap from inside the dining room at UWC Atlantic College, filled with smoke, ornate table decorations and a string quartet for a Class of 2018 leaving dinner this summer. Belgium’s Princess Elisabeth is the college’s newest recruit and is starting her studies there this week
A library worthy of Hogwarts at UWC Atlantic College in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. Belgium’s Princess Elisabeth is the college’s newest recruit and is starting this week
A dazzling Christmas tree in the dining hall at UWC Atlantic College in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. Belgium’s Princess Elisabeth is the college’s newest recruit and is starting this week. It has been described as a ‘hippie Hogwarts’ by one former student
Alumni at Atlantic College in South Wales (pictured) include Dutch king Willem-Alexander and Princess Raiyah of Jordan, but students are just as likely to rub shoulders with ‘refugees from west Africa’ and ‘California hippies,’ according to the report
The princess will be working towards an Internationale Baccalauréat with the aim to complete it by 2020.
She has previously been studying at the Dutch-speaking Sint-Jan Berchmans college in Brussels.
According to Princess Elisabeth’s official biography, the multi-lingual royal also speaks French and English and is studying German.
She likes to indulge her creative side with drawing and reading; plays the piano and also practices ballet as well as cycling, tennis, swimming, skiing and sailing.
Her choice of college already has royal connections having been founded by German Kurt Hahn in 1962 who also opened Gordonstoun boarding school in Scotland which was attended by Prince Charles.
Princess Elisabeth is the eldest of Queen Mathilde and King Felipe’s four children. Pictured: The family attending a church service at the Saint Gudule and Michel Cathedral in Belgium in July 2018. Left to right: Princess Eléonore, Prince Gabriel, Queen Mathilde, King Philip of Belgium, Princess Elisabeth and Prince Emmanuel
Belgium’s Princess Elisabeth (pictured in Brussels, July 2018) likes to indulge her creative side with drawing and reading; plays the piano and also practices ballet as well as cycling, tennis, swimming, skiing and sailing according to her official biography
Princess Elisabeth with her mother Queen Mathilde of Belgium, pictured attending the finals of the Queen Elisabeth Contest in the Bozar on May 12, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium
Hahn believed his approach to education, for pupils aged 16-19, could lead to a quicker resolution of international conflict, an ethos that is still carried by the establishment which aims to ‘promote mutual understanding’.
The 350 students studying at the school, which is about 40 minutes from Cardiff, come from more than 90 countries, the majority of whom are selected through their country’s National Committee.
The Queen currently acts as official president to the college with Nelson Mandela previously holding the role until his death in 2013.
Princess Elisabeth is the eldest of four children and sister to Princess Eleonore, ten, Prince Emmanuel, 12, and Prince Gabriel, 14.
Belgium’s Prince Emmanuel, Prince Gabriel, Crown Princess Elisabeth, Princess Eleonore, Queen Mathilde of Belgium and King Philippe of Belgium pose during a photo session of the Belgian Royal Family’s vacation at the Villers Abbey in Villers-la-Ville, on June 24, 2018
Principal Peter T. Howe said last week: ‘We look forward to welcoming Princess Elisabeth of Belgium, Duchess of Brabant to UWC Atlantic College and our extended international United World Colleges community, which has helped spread messengers of peace worldwide for more than 50 years.
‘Like all UWC students, the Princess’ place with us has been earned on promise and potential, and to date 78 students from Belgium have attended our college of nations.
‘Across the international UWC movement we seek to create empathetic, global citizens, who are motivated to create positive change in the world.
‘Students are selected independent of their socio-economic background. Those chosen by their national UWC selection committees to study the International Baccalaureate with us have proven that they share the goals of the UWC movement, and have the drive to look beyond their own personal experiences of the world to realise their potential for the benefit of others.
‘In September the Princess will join our community of nations, where she will live and study alongside 360 students, who represent over 90 nationalities and cultures, many of whom are able to join us thanks to the support of our scholarship and bursary programmes.’