Belgium’s heir to the throne Princess Elisabeth is facing a change to her pampered Royal life when she joins the country’s Royal Military Academy, according to students.
The young Royal, who was previously studying at UWC Atlantic College in Wales, is set to join the army next year in a move which has hit the headlines in her homeland, as it is noted for the tough initiation period where there are no favourites.
A change in the law a decades ago made it possible for the eldest child regardless of whether male or female to ascend the throne, and she will become the country’s first Queen Regent if she takes up the role.
One of the school’s current students has offered some choice words of advice ahead of her training. Evelyn Gravez, 22, has almost completed her master’s degree in Social and Military Sciences at the school.
She told local media: “My advice? Above all, make as many friends as possible. They’ll help you through if you’re having a hard time.”
Speaking about what life will look like for the pampered Royal, Evelyn says that her first weeks will include learning to fire a gun, setting up an army tent, marching with a backpack, tactical training and reading maps.
She added that the experience is “pretty tough” and that “they really throw you in”.
Meanwhile, she warned that the initiation period is not for everyone and that some students drop out each year.
However, she says that the camp is not exactly like the cliches of military school often seen in Hollywood movies.
She added: “They don’t yell at you when you make mistakes.
“Of course, sometimes they have to be strict. Because mistakes, they have to be sorted out as quickly as possible. But if you are a bit slow to learn, they are there to encourage you. Not to bark at you.”
Although there will be tough days ahead, the student believes that her counterpart will get used to it and that it might even help her lead the country one day.
She added: “I think Elisabeth will certainly get used to it. Even if she only stays one year. We learn to make decisions under stress, leadership techniques. That will be useful for her as head of state.”
Elisabeth is the heir apparent to the Belgian throne. The eldest child of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde.
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Story By: Conor Sheils, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
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