It's back to school for many children this week, and for one royal in particular, it's an especially exciting time. Queen Mathilde and King Philippe of Belgium's daughter Princess Elisabeth is starting her sixth form education in Wales, attending the UWC Atlantic College. The royal teenager, who is first-in-line to the Belgian throne, was pictured saying goodbye to her three younger siblings at their home in Brussels, the royal palace of Laeken.
With her suitcases and travelling bag in hand, Elisabeth looked excited to be starting this new chapter in her life. The 16-year-old was pictured hugging her brothers and sister in photos uploaded to the royal family's Instagram account, which also featured their adorable pet westie. "Leaving for @UWCAtlantic college! #backtoschool2018!" the photos were captioned.
See royals on their first day of school:
The king and queen's eldest child was accepted into the sixth form college in March. At the time, the palace announced that Elisabeth had passed the entry exam and would complete her Internationale Baccalauréat in Wales in 2020. The college teaches the rigorous IB system for 16 to 19 year olds. It was founded in 1962 by German educationalist Kurt Hahn, who also set up Gordonstoun boarding school in Scotland, famously attended by Prince Charles.
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Elisabeth said goodbye to her siblings in Brussels
Elisabeth will be following in the footsteps of other royals. Famous alumni include King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Princess Raiyah bint Al Hussein. The Queen, meanwhile, is a current president of the college alongside Queen Noor of Jordan. Nelson Mandela also served as a president until his death in 2013.
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The teenager will study the IB in Wales
The UWC focuses on bringing together students from different countries to "promote mutual understanding". The 350 students come from more than 90 countries, the majority of whom are selected through their country's National Committee. Princess Elisabeth would have had to pass the entry tests organised by the Belgian Committee.
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