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  #21  
Old 09-01-2008, 11:01 AM
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The children are adorable!! and princess astrid looks delightfully fresh.
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  #22  
Old 09-01-2008, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
Until what age does the primairy school go, 12 like in The Netherlands I think? I believe Princess Luisa Maria will be turning 13 in oktober, so this must be her last year, or is there a secondairy school attached to this one?
In Belgium you go to primary school until you're 12 years old (or until the year you're becoming 12).
Luisa Maria go's already to the second year of secondary school in the sint Jan Berchmans College.
Amedeo, Maria Laura and Joachim also studied there until the 3th of 4th year of secondary school before going to other school elsewhere.
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  #23  
Old 09-01-2008, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
Until what age does the primairy school go, 12 like in The Netherlands I think? I believe Princess Luisa Maria will be turning 13 in oktober, so this must be her last year, or is there a secondairy school attached to this one?
When you are 2,5 you go to the pre-school (kleuterschool, enseignement maternel) until you are 6. After that you go to the primary school (lager onderwijs, enseignement primaire) until you are 12. Then there is the secundary school (secundair onderwijs, enseignement secondaire) until the age of 18.
After that there is the higher education and then you can choose between university or polytechnic/vocationale university( hogeschool, haute école)

Prince Gabriël, Emmanuel and Letitia are now attending pre-school. Princess Elisabeth is in the primary school and princess Louisa Marie is doing the secundary school.
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  #25  
Old 09-01-2008, 02:05 PM
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  #26  
Old 09-01-2008, 02:11 PM
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Princess Luisa Maria is a beautiful teenager.

Does the twin princes (Aymeric and Nicolas) also attend the school today?
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  #27  
Old 09-01-2008, 02:24 PM
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How gorgeous the three children of Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde. The two oldest already very well at ease with going to school. The little one still a bit aprehensive. They are adorable.
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  #28  
Old 09-01-2008, 04:09 PM
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Nice gallery from Zimbio
Belgium Royals Attend First Day of School - Pictures - Zimbio
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  #29  
Old 09-01-2008, 04:18 PM
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On some photos it looks that Gabriel and Elisabeth are in similar height.

Good to see the children again.
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  #30  
Old 09-01-2008, 04:47 PM
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This is always a great opportunity to see the Belgian royal children, I really like this tradition. Little Emmanuel looks a bit overwhelmed by it all, he's so cute. Hopefully he'll feel more at ease soon when the cameras are gone and he gets used to his new, daily routine.

Thanks for the pics, all!
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  #31  
Old 09-01-2008, 08:50 PM
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These children are so sweet. Princess Elisabeth looks so grown up, especially in the photo where she is shaking hands with the school official.
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  #32  
Old 09-02-2008, 06:09 AM
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  #33  
Old 09-02-2008, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by LadyLeana View Post
Yes, it is a Flemish school, one of the best in the country actually (very difficult to get into as a mere mortal, and also Jesuit if I'm not mistaken). And children can start school from 2.5 years old in Belgium. First they go to kindergarten of course. They only really start learning things from about 6 or 7 ys.
Would this have been the first real exposure to Flemish language and culture for the royal children or do their parents speak Flemish with them too?
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  #34  
Old 09-02-2008, 11:13 AM
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I suppose their parents try, we have seen that in various television clips and such, but the Dutch of their parents is not fluent. The children do have a Dutch speaking nanny (nannies?) and it was said at home they talk in both languages. Still french will logically be the language that they will hear more (Brussels is mostly a francophone city, the courtiers are mostly french speaking etc. etc.), so to go to a Flemish school to balance that is a wise decision.
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  #35  
Old 09-02-2008, 02:57 PM
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How about the other languages?
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  #36  
Old 09-03-2008, 05:04 AM
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I wouldn't overestimate their exposure to Dutch at school, however. Of course school teachers will only speak Dutch during class, and it's likely there are rules about speaking any other language in school, but the Flemish education system is rated one of the best in the world, and many (non flemish speaking) people in Brussels try to send their children to the Flemish schools there. Many francophone families hope their children will become perfectly bilingual this way. This is problematic, as you can imagine: not so long ago in some Flemish schools in Brussels, none of the children who came to pre-school understood Dutch at all. Although the rules of admission have become more strict lately, I believe that many of the peers of especially the older children will be/ have been francophone. So it's likely they would also speak French with some friends from school.

In most Flemish schools, English, and German or Spanish are taught from secondary school onwards. The children of princess Astrid will probably have learnt German from their father.

At least one of the nannies of prince Philippe's children is dutch-speaking, (I seem to remember seeing her reading from a dutch book at the baptism of Eleonore, but I couldn't find it again) so I guess Elisabeth and her siblings will learn to speak and understand it perfectly, especially because they are learning it from such an early age. But only time will tell.
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  #37  
Old 09-03-2008, 12:55 PM
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All the nannies of princess Philippe and princess Mathilde ate Flemisch, they come from a certain daycare: 'De hummeltjes' in Hasselt, also the nannies of Astrid and Claire are dutch speaking and come from the same daycare.
website: Kindercentrum de hummeltjes: Over ons

For the Sint Jan berchmanscollege the childern may only speak dutch at school and that is more then normal. Prince Amedeo, Maria Laura we also went to that school and they speak dutch without any accent when they give interviews. The school also want to have 2/3 of the childern to have dutch as a mother tongue and encourages childern to speak dutch also at home (see schoolvision on website Sint-Jan Berchmanscollege Brussel - Schoolvisie)

About the other languages in belgium we start with french (flemisch schools) when we are 10 and with english when we are 12 and geman when we are 14.
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  #38  
Old 09-04-2008, 03:13 AM
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The school was not always legally allowed to make a distinction in who they wanted to admit. It is (or was) a first come, first get a place principle. Now Flemish speakers in Brussels get special days in which they can enroll, but it wasn't always like that.

Also, I heard princess Maria Laura speak once, and she does have an accent, not surprisingly a very cute Brussels one. I read some time ago that she and her siblings tend to correct their parents' dutch constantly, so I readily believe that they are about as fluent as any native.

BTW: I didn't mean to criticize in any way, just keep things real. I know how rules work in schools, I haven't left so long ago that I forgot: usually they're meant to be broken. You would be surprised to see in how many schools pupils don't speak the prescribed language, and how often schools try to encourage non-dutch speaking pupils to speak dutch at home (I have some firsthand experience with this). I just wanted to point out that the exposure to Dutch should be seen in the correct light.
But please don't get me wrong: I'm absolutely thrilled that the younger generation is educated mostly in Dutch! And I also have a lot of respect for the Dutch our RF speaks, however flawed or flawless it might be, because I know Dutch is by no means an easy language to learn.
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  #39  
Old 09-12-2008, 12:16 PM
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The little Princess Elisabeth is so pretty and well-mannered. Actually, the four children of Princess Mathilde are adorable. I just couldn't help but notice that Princess Mathilde looked somewhat chunky. I even thought that she might be expecting again just after the delivery in April. She used to be very slender. What happened?
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  #40  
Old 09-12-2008, 12:54 PM
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She is probably having a difficult time getting rid of the weight from her fourth pregnancy. I'm sure that she is trying, though.
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