Prince Gabriel of Belgium: the secrets behind his charm

Prince Gabriel of Belgium, 19 years old
Brother of Princess Elisabeth
Going to the Military Academy
Four siblings
Charming prince
Compared to Harry of Sussex
Most popular among Belgian royals
Smart kid who liked outdoor activity
Boy scouts and sports fan
Skiing, sailing, hiking...
In his sister's footsteps
Trilingual
International baccalaureate
A common route for European royals
Math and Science in England
Committed to helping others
Phone calls during the pandemic
What's the secret of his charm?
The 'sensation' factor
Connection with the audience
Did the princes inherit this from their mothers?
Same style as Harry of Sussex
Well-mannered but with naughty eyes
Does Prince Gabriel have a girlfriend (or boyfriend)?
Prince Gabriel of Belgium, 19 years old

A new generation of European royals is growing up! In the cohort of the English Lady Louise Windsor, Dutch Crown Princess Amalia and the Spanish Leonor, among others, there's also this handsome chap: Prince Gabriel of Belgium.

Photo: official handout, Belgian Monarchy / Facebook

Brother of Princess Elisabeth

He was born as the younger brother of Princess Elisabeth, the Belgian heir to the throne, on August 20, 2003. His father, King Philippe of Belgium, and his sister are on this photo with Gabriel.

Going to the Military Academy

The prince just turned 19 and started his new studies in Social and Military Sciences at the Belgian Royal Military Academy on August 22.

Four siblings

Gabriel and Elisabeth (born October 25, 2001) are the eldest of four children in the Belgian royal household. Prince Emmanuel (r) and Princess Eleonore (l) are their younger siblings. Their mother is Queen Mathilde.

Charming prince

Royalty reporters described Gabriel as "a friendly and charming young boy" as he was growing up (Salon Privé). They also consider him a "charismatic" prince (Express).

Compared to Harry of Sussex

The Express argues that Gabriel has a lot in common with the British Prince Harry. They are both second-born princes in their respective royal households; a position that comes with particular roles and expectations.

Most popular among Belgian royals

In the year leading up to his 18th birthday, Prince Gabriel was the most googled member of the Belgian household, The Express gathered from a Top 10 Casino investigation into European royals' popularity.

Photo: official handout, Belgian Monarchy / Facebook

"Charismatic" and "naughty-looking"

It's a popularity status comparable to that of Prince Harry in past years, the paper says. Apart from having similar charisma, The Express writes, the two princes are also equally "naughty-looking." They have a sense of humor and make people laugh.

Smart kid who liked outdoor activity

As a child, Prince Gabriel liked to do well in school and had good grades. He was also very active playing sports, Salon Privé Magazine recalls.

Boy scouts and sports fan

Gabriel has played taekwondo, football, tennis, and field hockey for many years, the Royal House of Belgium shares. He's been an active member of the boy scouts.

Skiing, sailing, hiking...

The prince also likes to go cycling, sailing, skiing and hiking, according to the palace. This is illustrated by the many pictures of him and the family doing outdoors activities.

In his sister's footsteps

It's not too surprising, therefore, that Gabriel is following in his elder sister's footsteps and attending the Royal Military Academy.

Trilingual

Gabriel speaks fluent French and Dutch, the two official languages of Belgium. He went to Dutch-language high school but always managed to keep up his level of French. In addition, the prince masters English.

International baccalaureate

As several European princes and princesses have done, Gabriel followed an international two-year baccalaureate program in English for his final high school years.

A common route for European royals

This school career is comparable to that of his sister Elisabeth, but also to those of Princess Leonor of Spain, and Princess Alexia of The Netherlands. All three princesses went to the Atlantic College in Wales for an international baccalaureate.

Math and Science in England

The difference with the three young women is that Gabriel initially didn't go abroad: he pursued his baccalaureate close to home, in Brussels. However, after graduating, he did go to England for a 1-year pre-University program at the National Mathematics & Science College in Warwickshire.

Photo: official handout, Belgian Monarchy / Facebook

Committed to helping others

Salon Privé Magazine emphasizes that Prince Gabriel is very committed to helping others. They call him a "keen charity worker" who "likes to do his part for the less fortunate."

Phone calls during the pandemic

In fact, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Prince Gabriel took to calling retirement homes and talking to elderly people who might feel lonely because of the lockdown.

What's the secret of his charm?

The Express was so fascinated with Prince Gabriel's popularity that the paper consulted a body language expert, Judi James, to explain it. She said that both Gabriel and Prince Harry have "the 'sensation' factor."

Photo: official handout, Belgian Monarchy / Facebook

The 'sensation' factor

Like Harry of Sussex, Gabriel has the capacity to make a connection with the audience. Both princes have a "narrowed eye-smile" that "[makes] people grin or laugh in response," Judy James explains to The Express.

Connection with the audience

James calls it an 'echo' effect: "It's a trait that suggests shared bonds with your audience, as though you recognise the fun in one another."

Did the princes inherit this from their mothers?

"Harry appeared to have inherited the technique from his mother and it does often prompt feelings of friendship in the viewer," Judi James tells The Express. It's possible that Gabriel inherited his charming demeanor from Queen Mathilde.

"Fun personality"

The body language expert tells The Express that Gabriel has a nice "puckered smile." The prince's eyes "are narrowed in a naughty-looking eye-smile while his mouth-smile entails closed lips but rounded cheeks and mouth-puckering to suggest a fun personality."

Same style as Harry of Sussex

"Although some of his more formal photos show him posing" in an "elegant and mature" way, Judi James explains, "there are so many hints from Prince Gabriel’s more relaxed shots or photos where he has a direct eye-gaze that his popularity might have to do with Harry’s style of charismatic body language."

Photo: official handout, Belgian Monarchy / Facebook

Well-mannered but with naughty eyes

"Like Harry, Gabriel has a trait of standing with his hands clasped in front of his torso to suggest good, well-mannered behaviour that might just be at odds with his fun and more naughty-looking eye-smile," James tells The Express.

Photo: official handout, Belgian Monarchy / Facebook

Does Prince Gabriel have a girlfriend (or boyfriend)?

As far as royal reporters inside and outside of Belgium are aware, the prince is currently not in a relationship. But who knows, he may meet someone in the military academy!

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