A student has grown close to the future Queen of Belgium while studying at Oxford University according to reports.

Crown Princess Elisabeth and Nicholas Dodd of Rochdale first met on their matriculation day in October 2021.

According to a Belgian newspaper as per The Times, the pair have since developed a relationship that “transcends friendship”.

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The 22-year-old royal is the eldest of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium’s four children and is reading history and politics.

Mr Dodd who comes from the Pennine village of Whitworth, just outside Rochdale in Lancashire, is reading history.

The 20-year-old is a student at Lincoln College alongside the future Queen which is the same alma mater of Rishi Sunak and the novelist John le Carré.

“They ended up in the same study group and there was an instant connection,” a source told Het Laatste Nieuws, a Dutch-language newspaper based in Antwerp, as per The Times.

 “Later they studied together, wrote essays and worked on projects together.”

Oxford Mail: Princess Elizabeth of Belgium starts her studies at Oxford UniversityPrincess Elizabeth of Belgium starts her studies at Oxford University Before moving to Oxford, the princess studied at Atlantic College, a boarding school set in a 12th-century castle in the Vale of Glamorgan.

After her grandfather’s abdication due to health reasons back in 2013, she became the Duchess of Brabant and heir apparent.

If the 22-year-old was to ascend to the throne, she would become Belgium’s first-ever queen.

Mr Dodd was a pupil at Rochdale Sixth Form College which is a high-performing state school with nearly 1,500 pupils.

Mentioned in an article on the school’s website, Dodd wrote that he had actually applied to Oxford because he felt he had “nothing to lose in trying”.

“I applied to Oxford because I wanted the opportunity to study at a world-class university,” he said.

“It was also worth it because the experience developed my analytical skills so even if my application failed, the skills I learned will still help me now and in approaching my work in the future.”

Oxford Mail: Princess Elizabeth of Belgium studies at Oxford University Princess Elizabeth of Belgium studies at Oxford University He had previously been a pupil at Beech House, a mixed fee-paying school in Rochdale, where he was also head boy.

In 2019, he was nominated for the Whitbread Memorial Prize, which recognises outstanding contributions to community life among independent schools.

Despite the reports, a relative of Mr Dodd’s played down speculation that the pair are romantically linked.

The relative told the 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 princess accompanied her father last May to a reception at Buckingham Palace on the eve of King Charles’s coronation.