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Perhaps 18 should be revisited
The discussions here and on the Franco-Iberian Board have made me wonder about 18 as the age in most monarchies in which a monarch is of age to reign without a regency. In modern times most young royals go to university. A reigning monarch would like be precluded from doing that without a regency, and it seems like it could be valuable for a monarch to have some higher education. Perhaps there could be provision for a lieutenant representative, as is done in Luxembourg and Liechtenstein when the monarch is of retirement age. But I wonder whether there would be any tolerance for resetting the age of royal majority at 21 or even 22 or 23.
You are right, Jane https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_of_succession_to_the_Belgian_throne
Now at the age of 18 the Princess can act (immediately) as Regent if that should be necessary!
Until the Act of Succesion was changed Prince Laurent was the first adult in the Royal House who could act as such, or even worse (....) become King.
A huge sigh of relief might have been heard all over Belgium when Elisabeth was born and she became her father's heiress at once.
Wasn't Prince Laurent already displaced in the succession, when Princess Elisabeth was born? The constitutional amendment was passed in 1991, and made retroactive: Princess Astrid and her then two children were placed ahead of her younger brother in the line to the throne.
Later on, her third child was born, King Baudouin died, King Albert II succeeded, and her fourth child was born -- further displacing Laurent. So if anything, the princess should have qualified as the nearest adult eligible to serve as regent, in the event that a minor succeeded to the Belgian throne.
It was not an issue during King Philippe's bachelor or crown prince days. But after he married, had children, and succeeded his father on the throne, it became a possibility: Elisabeth was only 11 years old, as of summer 2013.