The happy news was confirmed by the palace exclusively to PEOPLE

By Peter Mikelbank
Updated April 12, 2016 01:05 PM
Elisabetta A. Villa/WireImage

Belgium’s line of succession is getting a little bump.

The country’s Prince Amedeo and wife Elisabetta Maria Von Wolkenstein Rosboch will have their first child this year, the royal palace confirms exclusively to PEOPLE. The couple have been married since July 2014.

Amedeo, the eldest son of Princess Astrid and first grandchild of former King Albert II and Queen Paola, is sixth in line for the country’s throne. The child – which Belgian media believes is due in May – will be Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz’s first grandchild.

The couple’s child will become seventh rank of succession – but will not hold the title of prince or princess.

Amedeo, 30, and Maria Elisabetta (nicknamed “Lili”) 28, met while students in London and have lived quietly outside the spotlight, including in New York City while Amedeo earned his MBA at Columbia University.

Maria Elisabetta, whose family is Italian nobility, has been a cultural journalist for Bloomberg News and recently held a six-month internship in the European Parliament. Amedeo has worked in Management Consulting for Deloitte and McKinsey & Co.

The child will be the first great-grandchild for Belgium’s former King Albert II, who abdicated in 2013 in favor of his son, Philippe. As the eldest of King Albert’s grandchildren, Amedeo (who is also Archduke of Austria-Este) stood third in line for Belgium’s throne for nearly two decades.

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With Philippe’s marriage to Mathilde, the birth of the Duchess of Brabant, their other children, and King Albert’s resignation, his position slipped to sixth.

Then came what the Belgian press nicknamed “AmedeoGate.”

Though Amedeo and Elisabetta formally announced their engagement in February 2014 and were married in Rome’s Basilica Santa Maria in July of that year, a constitutional technicality briefly dismissed Amedeo from the line of succession and disallows Elisabetta from calling herself “Princess.”

After 16 months, this constitutional crisis resolved last November when a royal decree announcing King Philippe s retroactive permission for their marriage was officially published.

Under terms of this decree, co-signed by Belgium’s Justice Minister, Elisabetta was deprived of the title Princess of Belgium – but instead is known as the Archduchess.