10 DECEMBER 2001

Princess Elisabeth, the newest addition to the Belgian royal family and the country’s future queen, was baptised on Sunday at the Royal Castle of Ciergnon. Dressed in a gown of silk and organza, the six-week-old princess spent much of the candlelit ceremony sleeping in the arms of her father Crown Prince Philippe as her mother Princess Mathilde looked on.

The public was kept well away from the private baptism, which took place in the small chapel of the 19th-century hilltop castle. Surrounded by close friends and family of the royal couple, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, Belgium’s top Roman Catholic clergyman, presided over the event. Elisabeth’s cousin, Prince Amedeo, was chosen as godfather, and her godmother is Princess Mathilde’s sister, Countess Helene d’Udekem d’Acoz.

The youngest member of Belgium’s royal family, Princess Elisabeth Therese Marie Helene was born on October 25. She is currently second in line to succeed her grandfather, King Albert II, and, when she is crowned, will become the country’s first female monarch.

Photo: ©
Princess Elisabeth was gently cradled in the arms of her father Crown Prince Philippe during much of the intimate ceremony
Photo: ©
A radiant Princess Mathilde smiles at her husband during the candlelit baptism, which took place at the Royal Castle of Ciergnon

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