Princess Elisabeth of Belgium 'forms connection' with Rochdale student - as family insist 'they just study together'

20 February 2024, 09:25 | Updated: 20 February 2024, 09:48

Princess Elisabeth and Nicholas Dodd
Princess Elisabeth and Nicholas Dodd. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Princess Elisabeth of Belgium is said to have formed an "instant connection" with a Rochdale student - as his family insists that the pair "just study together".

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Nicholas Dodd, 20, is said to be in a relationship with Princess Elisabeth that "transcends friendship", according to Belgian media.

Mr Dodd, who is from Rochdale, met the princess, who is the eldest of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium's children, when she started studying History and Politics at Oxford University, it is understood.

He reads History at the same college, Het Laatste Nieuws reported.

The publication said the pair had an "instant connection" after joining the same study group.

But a relative of Mr Dodd has since shut down speculation.

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Princess Elisabeth and King Philippe of Belgium at a reception at Buckingham Palace ahead of the coronation of King Charles
Princess Elisabeth and King Philippe of Belgium at a reception at Buckingham Palace ahead of the coronation of King Charles. Picture: Getty

"No, that is false," they told Manchester Evening News.

"They just go to the same college and study together. Just like all his other friends, I can't comment any further."

The Royal Palace refused to comment on the rumours, according to TV station RTL. 

A statement said: "We do not react to rumours concerning the private lives of members of the royal family."

Elisabeth at the Princess Elisabeth Childrens Hospital
Elisabeth at the Princess Elisabeth Childrens Hospital. Picture: Alamy

When Princess Elisabeth's father became king in 2013, she became heir to the throne and Duchess of Brabant.

She has carried out royal engagements from a young age, delivering a speech at the age of just nine.

Meanwhile, Mr Dodd went to Rochdale Sixth Form and is understood to live with his mother.

He appeared on his sixth form's website after being accepted into Oxford, saying he chose to apply there to get the opportunity "to study at a world-class university".

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