Belgian Crown Princess Elisabeth begins her military training
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Belgian Crown Princess Elisabeth begins her military training

Credit: Belgian Royal Palace/Twitter

The Belgian Royal Palace shared the first images of Crown Princess Elisabeth during her military training at the start of the school year at the Royal Military Academy.

Princess Elisabeth graduated from high school in Wales, and is now spending a year studying Social and Military Sciences at the Royal Military Academy in Brussels.

The school year started on 2 September with the military initiation phase in Camp Elsenborn in the municipality of Bütgenbach in the Liège province, but the Palace only shared the images now.

During her training, she will be taught the values of Defence, such as discipline, respect, commitment and courage, as well as shooting, marching, and camouflage techniques, according to the Academy.

“It is an honour for us to have her with us, but we treat her just like any other pupil,” Major Isabel Vanhavermaet, who supervises the first years, told VRT.

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“She is addressed by her family name, like all other pupils. That is ‘van België’ (“of Belgium”) because she is in a Dutch-speaking platoon. Her fellow pupils have also integrated her in the group very well. I do not think anyone realises on a daily basis that there is a princess in their platoon.”

However, a bodyguard is always present, but they “blend in very well with the decor,” said Vanhavermaet, who is convinced that a large number of participants do not know that the guards are there.

Due to the coronavirus, this is not an ordinary school year, as the different platoons are separated from each other by a colour code (the princess is in the blue platoon) and are not allowed to come into contact with each other.

Additionally, face masks must be worn all day, except when eating or exercising.

The camp lasts four weeks, and if Elisabeth passes she will receive her blue beret from the Royal Military Academy during a ceremony on 25 September in the presence of her parents.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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