Wednesday, September 3, 2008

School for Princesses and Princes

No less than five Belgian princes and princesses started the new school year at the same Brussels school on Monday. The 'Sint-Jan Berchmanscollege' welcomed the offspring of Prince Philip and Princess Mathilde, as well as children of Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este.

Prince Filip brings his children to school daily, but this time Princess Mathilde joined him as it was the first school day for their youngest, Prince Emanuel. The three year old started kindergarden in the exclusively Dutch-language school.

Princess Elisabeth (7) started her second year, and her younger brother Gabriel (5) is in the third and last year of kindergarden.

The royal off-spring gets no preferential treatment, school director Luc De Coninck told Flemish newspaper De Standaard. „We never talk about them being princes or princesses, except of course when we teach about the royal family and the monarchy.“

„We want the children to feel at ease. The school is one of the few places where they can be themselves“, he said.

Apart from three of the four children of Mathilde and Philip, two of the five children of Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz are attending the Brussels school: Princess Luisa Maria (13) and Princess Laetitia (5) were taken to school by their mother.

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