Inside the Life of Europe's New Teen Princess: Josephine of Belgium

Phil Boucher
·4 min read

Princess Delphine de Saxe-Cobourg/Instagram Princess Josephine of Belgium

Princess Josephine of Belgium is enjoying her hair-raising introduction to royal life!

Europe's newest princess, 17, only just received her title on Oct. 2, but she has already stepped up to the royal plate, donating almost 18 inches – of her flowing auburn locks to Think Pink, the national breast cancer campaign of Belgium.

“Big step today... For 5 years my daughter had been looking forward to this moment!” her mother Princess Delphine posted on Instagram on Tuesday about Josephine's donation, which will be turned into a wig for cancer patients.

“So happy she could finally donate her long hair to @thinkpinkbelgium #solidarity :)) Hope this will be helpful.”

Princess Delphine de Saxe-Cobourg/Instagram Princess Josephine of Belgium

Josephine's life changed forever in January when a DNA test proved that her mother, 52, is the daughter of 85-year-old former king Albert II, following a decades-long fight to be officially recognized by the retired monarch.

Last month a Brussels court also ruled that Delphine was entitled to the same legal rights and titles as Albert’s three other children, Belgium's King Philipe, 60, Princess Astrid, 58 and Prince Laurent, 56.

As a result, the down-to-earth teenager immediately swapped her old name of Josephine Boel for the new title of Princess Josephine de Saxe-Cobourg Gotha — as did her little brother Prince Oscar, 12.

"She doesn't want to be discounted as a child," Delphine's attorney Marc Uyttendaele said ahead of her September hearing, adding that she wanted "exactly the same prerogatives, titles and qualities as her brothers and sister."

While Josephine doesn't have an official role within the Belgian royal family, her mother's Instagram page — newly updated to include the name "de Saxe-Cobourg" — shows the fun-loving 17-year-old is tailor-made for royal life.

"A small world gets wonderfully smaller in the Big sky country!" Delphine posted in August 2018 alongside a series of images of Josephine playfully enjoying the deserts of Marfa, Texas. She has also traveled to New York, China, Russia and Italy.

"HAPPY THANKSGIVING," Delphine posted beside another image of Josphine happily smiling in a group pic with Delphine, Oscar and her American father, James O’Hare, ahead of a Thanksgiving meal.

"This is one of my favourite days to celebrate," she added. "I post this photo that was taken a little while ago to remind myself how time flies and how I should cherish every moment of life."

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Elsewhere, Josephine can be seen throwing herself into making origami cranes for a special COVID-19 special care unit and following in the creative footsteps of her artist mother, with whom she reportedly shares an apartment in Brussels.

"I am inspired by my daughter‘s creativity and imagination to capture a brief moment of beauty and ice-cream," Delphie posted on April 18 alongside an image of Josphine photographing a banana beside a turquoise sea.

Her mother's feelings for the new titled Josephine and Oscar are also captured in a joyful Sept. 1 image of the new royal siblings happily enjoying the late summer heat, which includes the words "My true masterpieces."