A Belgian Princess visited UKAEA at Culham Science Centre and visited her niece at Oxford University during an economic trade mission to the UK.

Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium, 59 took a four-day trip to the UK as part of an economic trade mission alongside 400 participants representing 214 companies and organisations.

On her trip she made several stops across Oxfordshire including a visit to the lab at the Culham Science Centre near Abingdon on May 11.

READ ALSO: Carterton Community College celebrates 'good' Ofsted rating

 Princess Astrid, the sister of King Philippe of Belgium, learnt how fusion energy could play a key role in addressing climate change and saw the most powerful operating fusion energy machine in the world, the Joint European Torus (JET).

There were 12 Belgian scientists directly involved in the record-breaking fusion energy results announced earlier this year.

The tour was arranged as part of the Belgian Economic Mission. It raised the importance of fusion energy in delivering an environmentally responsible future energy supply.

Oxford Mail:

Ian Chapman, CEO, UKAEA, said: "Belgium is an important partner in the global mission to achieve commercial fusion power and in ensuring the world has access to a safe, sustainable and low carbon energy supply."

The ground-breaking research being done at UKAEA with partners across the globe represents a huge opportunity for the economy. 

READ ALSO: LIVE UPDATES: Oxford visited by Prince Charles

The UK energy industry invests £13bn annually, delivers nearly £30bn in gross value added on top of the nearly £100bn in economic activity through its supply chain and interaction with other sectors. It supports more than 700,000 jobs across the country.

In 2021, Belgium was the UK’s seventh largest client of goods worldwide and sixth largest supplier of goods. The Belgian Economic Mission aims to increase Belgian export to the UK with HRH offering her support.

Oxford Mail: Princess Elizabeth Princess Elizabeth

During the Princess’s visit to the county, she went to see her niece Crown Princess Elizabeth, 20 who has been studying history and politics at Lincoln College since October.

Princess Astrid and Elizabeth met with Professor Dame Sarah Springman, the Principle of St Hilda’s College and Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford.

READ ALSO: Abingdon swimmers “desperate” for Abbey Meadow pool to reopen

Princess Astrid was spotted wearing a checked with and pink suit with a pink blouse which was tied with a bow at the neck. Princess Elizabeth wore a bright yellow coat, wide-legged trousers and a white Oxford shirt.

Princess Elizabeth is heir to Belgium's throne after her grandfather abdicated in 2013. She is not the only member of the Belgian royal family to study in the UK, her younger brother, Prince Gabriel, also moved to England to undergo preparatory training in Warwickshire.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok

Got a story for us? Send us your news and pictures here

List an event for free on our website here