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Leonor, Princess of Asturias

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Leonor
Princess of Asturias (more)
Leonor in 2023
Born (2005-10-31) 31 October 2005 (age 18)
Madrid, Spain
Names
Leonor de Todos los Santos de Borbón y Ortiz
HouseBourbon-Anjou
FatherFelipe VI
MotherLetizia Ortiz Rocasolano
ReligionRoman Catholic
SignatureLeonor's signature
Education
Military career
Allegiance Spain
Service/branch Spanish Army
Years of service2023–present
RankCadet Ensign

Leonor, Princess of Asturias[a][1] (Leonor de Todos los Santos de Borbón y Ortiz;[b] born 31 October 2005) is the heiress presumptive to the Spanish throne. She is the elder daughter of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia.

Leonor was born during the reign of her paternal grandfather, King Juan Carlos I. She was educated at Santa María de los Rosales School, as her father; after finishing her secondary studies, she studied for an International Baccalaureate at the UWC Atlantic College in the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales, United Kingdom. On 17 August 2023, Leonor joined the General Military Academy to start her 3-year military education.

In 2014, following her father's ascension to the throne after the abdication of her grandfather, Leonor was granted all the traditional titles of the heir to the Spanish crown, these are Princess of Asturias, Princess of Girona, Princess of Viana, Duchess of Montblanc, Countess of Cervera and Lady of Balaguer. Leonor was formally proclaimed heiress before the Cortes on 31 October 2023, her 18th birthday.

Should Leonor ascend to the throne as expected, she will be Spain's first queen regnant since her fourth great-grandmother Isabella II[c], who reigned from 1833 to 1868.

Birth[edit]

Leonor was born on 31 October 2005 at 01:46 to Felipe and Letizia, then the Prince and Princess of Asturias, during the reign of her paternal grandfather, King Juan Carlos I, in the Ruber International Hospital in Madrid using a caesarean section necessitated by non-progression of labour.[2] As the daughter of the heir apparent, she was an infanta and the second in the line of succession to the Spanish throne.[3] Her birth was announced by the royal family to the press via SMS.[4]

Leonor left the Ruber International Hospital with her parents on 7 November 2005.[5][6] She was baptised in the Zarzuela Palace by the archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela, on 14 January 2006.[7] Like her father, Leonor was baptized – with water from the Jordan River – in a Romanesque baptismal font that has been used to christen Spanish princes since the 17th century.[8] Her godparents were her paternal grandparents, King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía.[9] She received the name of Leonor de Todos los Santos.[10]

Education and military service[edit]

Leonor's education began at Escuela Infantil Guardia Real, the daycare for the children of the Spanish Royal Guard.[11] She began her first year of primary school on 15 September 2008 at the Santa María de los Rosales School in Aravaca, just outside Madrid.[12] Her father is an alumnus of the private school and her younger sister, Sofía, is also enrolled there. In September 2021, she began studying a 2-year International Baccalaureate program at the UWC Atlantic College in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales.[13] She graduated in May 2023, having completed her studies.[14] Leonor is fluent in Spanish, Catalan and English (the latter learnt from her British nanny and also from her grandmother, Queen Sofía)[15] and has studied Arabic and Mandarin.[16]

In preparation for her role as Spain's commander-in-chief, Leonor will follow her father's footsteps with two further years of naval and air force training at the Naval Military Academy in Marín and the General Air Academy in Murcia, respectively.[17] In this sense, in March 2023, the minister of defense, Margarita Robles, announced that the government had approved a royal decree for Leonor to begin a 3-year military training education program.[18][19] Leonor chose to use both of her parents surnames "Borbón Ortiz" in her military career.[20] Also, whilst attending the military academies, Leonor will renounce her salary and any money that cadets receive.[21]

On 17 August 2023, she started her first year of training at the General Military Academy in Zaragoza.[22] She received the officer's sabre on 19 September 2023.[23] Leonor swore an oath of allegiance to the Spanish flag at the General Military Academy on 7 October 2023, in the presence of her parents.[24][25] In January 2024, Leonor participated in the 24th Sports Championship of Military Academies for Officers, competing in fencing and volleyball as one of the representatives of the General Military Academy.[26] Her team won a silver medal in the mixed team fencing competition.[27] In June 2024, she closed the maneuver practices of the army training in the mountains of Navaleno and San Leonardo de Yagüe in Soria province.[28] She was trained by Colonel José Gonzálvez Vallés and Lieutenant Colonel Margarita Pardo de Santayana.[29] Leonor was promoted to the rank of Cadet Ensign and awarded the Grand Cross of Military Merit by her father King Felipe VI on 3 July 2024.[30]

Princess of Asturias[edit]

Early years[edit]

In May 2014, Leonor made her first official visit to the San Javier Air Force base in Murcia.[12] On 18 June 2014, King Juan Carlos signed the Abdication Act, and the following day at the stroke of midnight (18–19 June 2014) Leonor's father ascended the throne becoming King Felipe VI, and Leonor became his heir presumptive and Princess of Asturias.[31] In October 2014, a wax figure of Leonor was unveiled at the Museo de Cera in Madrid.[32] On 20 May 2015, Leonor received First Communion as per Catholic custom.[33][34]

According to the Spanish constitution of 1978, the succession to the Spanish throne is under a system of male-preference cognatic primogeniture,[35] meaning that Leonor, as the elder of Felipe's two daughters, is first in line to inherit the throne. Under the current law, however, if her father has a legitimate son while still king, Leonor would be displaced in the line of succession and again become an infanta of Spain.[12] There have been discussions[36][37][38] about changing the succession law to absolute primogeniture, allowing for the inheritance of the eldest child, regardless of sex; however, the birth of Leonor, followed by that of her younger sister Sofía, stalled these plans. Despite a change from male-preference to absolute primogeniture for Spanish titles of nobility in 2009,[39] as of 2024 no legislation has been passed affecting the succession to the throne.

With her father, the King, during the 2018 Golden Fleece award ceremony at the Royal Palace.

On a day before her 10th birthday, she was granted the Order of the Golden Fleece by her father.[40][41][42] In addition, the Council of Ministers approved the design of her personal standard and guidon.[43] Coinciding with the 50th birthday of King Felipe, in January 2018, the King officially gave Leonor the collar of the Golden Fleece in a ceremony at the Royal Palace of Madrid.[44]

In September 2018, Leonor conducted her first public engagement outside the palace by accompanying her parents to Covadonga to celebrate the 1,300th anniversary of the Kingdom of Asturias.[45] On 31 October 2018, Leonor gave her first public speech, held at the Instituto Cervantes in Madrid, where she read the first article of the Constitution of Spain.[46] The speech coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Constitution and her 13th birthday.[47] She made her first significant speech at Premio Princesa de Asturias on 18 October 2019.[48] She made her first speech on 4 November 2019 at the Princess of Girona Foundation awards in Barcelona,[49] in which she spoke in Spanish, Catalan, English and Arabic.[50]

With her family and the main Spanish civil and military authorities during the 2019 National Day festivities.

Leonor carried out her first public solo engagement on 24 March 2021 by attending a ceremony to mark the 30th anniversary of the Instituto Cervantes.[51] Leonor made her first official international trip on 16 July 2022. She did it without the presence of her parents, although she was accompanied by her younger sister, Infanta Sofía. Together, they attended a match between Spain and Denmark at the UEFA Women's Euro 2022.[52][53] In December 2022, Leonor visited the Spanish Red Cross headquarters in Madrid where she met young volunteers of The Red Cross Youth, the youth section of the Spanish Red Cross.[54]

Heir's oath[edit]

Princess Leonor in a Spanish royal family Rolls-Royce Phantom IV during her 18th birthday parade in October 2023.

The Royal Household made public on 22 September 2023 that, as required under the Spanish Constitution, the princess would swear allegiance to the Constitution and the King upon reaching the age of majority.[55] This declared her as the heir to the Spanish throne.[56] At about 11:00 (CET) on 31 October 2023, her 18th birthday, the ceremony started when the royal family left the Palace of Zarzuela and was escorted by the Royal Guard through the streets of Madrid. At the Palacio de las Cortes the royal family received state honors, and the Princess of Asturias took her oath before a joint session of the Spanish Parliament, which received her oath with an ovation of more than four minutes.[57]

After this ceremony, the royal family and the main authorities of the country went to the Royal Palace, where her father, King Felipe, awarded her with the Collar of the Order of Charles III, the highest civil honor in Spain.[58] After a lunch at palace, the institutional event was over; the Royal Family held a private celebration at the Royal Palace of El Pardo.[59] The entire paternal and maternal family attended this private event, as well as the Greek royal family, represented by Queen Anne-Marie and Princess Alexia and her husband, some members of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies including Prince Pedro, Duke of Calabria, representatives of the Bulgarian royal family, and Princess Miriam Ghazi.[60][61]

Official agenda[edit]

On 6 January 2024, Leonor attended the Pascua Militar for the first time, a more than two-centuries-old Spanish military celebration.[62] She attended the event not just as a heiress to her father, but also as member of the Armed Forces.[63] In May 2024, she attended the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the oath of allegiance to the Spanish flag of the 44th promotion of the General Military Academy.[64]

On 12 July 2024, Leonor made her first official foreign visit. She was invited by Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa to visit the country.[65] In this trip, Leonor, who was accompanied by the Portuguese leader, the Spanish foreign minister, José Manuel Albares, and the private secretary to the king, Camilo Villarino [es],[66] focused her activities on environmental protection and ocean conservation, visiting the Lisbon Oceanarium and attending a debate on ocean protection.[67] She also visited the Jerónimos Monastery, where she paid tribute to the poet Luís de Camões, and later went to the Belém Palace, where delegations from both countries met and had a lunch, and where President Rebelo de Sousa awarded Leonor the Grand Cross of the Military Order of Christ.[67]

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Princess Leonor and her parents with the prime minister (left) and the president of the Congress of Deputies (right) in November 2023.

As children of the prince of Asturias, Leonor was born infanta and initially styled "Her Royal Highness Infanta Doña Leonor".[68] Upon her father's accession to the throne, Leonor became the heiress presumptive to the Spanish throne, and she inherited the traditional titles of the heir: Princess of Asturias, Princess of Girona, Princess of Viana, Duchess of Montblanc, Countess of Cervera and Lady of Balaguer.[69] Leonor is the 36th person to bear the title of princess of Asturias since its creation in 1388.[70]

Since then, Leonor is generally styled as "Her Royal Highness The Princess of Asturias", although depending on the province of the country, another title may be added. For example, when visiting the territories of the former Crown of Aragon, she is usually titled "Her Royal Highness the Princess of Asturias and Girona" and, in Navarre, she is referred as "Her Royal Highness the Princess of Asturias and Viana".[71][72]

Honours[edit]

As heir to the throne, she is the nominal chairwoman of the Princess of Asturias Foundation and the Princess of Girona Foundation. However, until she became 18, those functions were assumed by her father.[73][74]

Also, as traditional for the first in line to the throne, her father invested her with the insignia (Collar, Medal and Bow) of the Order of the Golden Fleece (awarded 30 October 2015, presented 30 January 2018).[75] On 10 October 2023, she was created a Dame of the Collar of the Order of Charles III (10 October 2023, presented 31 October 2023).[76][77] On 31 October 2023, the Congress of Deputies and the Senate granted her the Gold Medals of the Spanish parliament.[78] On 2 July 2024, she was awarded a Grand Cross of Military Merit with White Decoration (presented 3 July 2024).[79][80] On 12 July 2024, she was awarded by the President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the Grand Cross of the Military Order of Christ.[81]

Arms[edit]

Coat of arms of Leonor, Princess of Asturias
Notes
In 2015, one day before the Princess of Asturias' birthday, she was granted the Order of the Golden Fleece. Since then, she has been able to use the coat of arms of the heir to the Spanish throne with the collar of the order. The government officially gazetted her use of the arms and standard by Royal Decree on her birthday.[82]
Crest
The crown of the Princess of Asturias
Escutcheon
The arms are divided into four quarters, blazoned as follows:

1st, Gules a castle three-towered Or, masoned Sable ajoure Azure (for Castile); 2nd, Argent a lion rampant Purpure, armed Gules and crowned Or (for León); 3rd, Or four pallets Gules (for Aragon); 4th, Gules a cross, saltire and orle of chains all linked Or, an emerald Proper for Navarre; Enté en point, Argent a pomegranate Proper seeded Gules, supported, sculpted and leafed in two leaves Vert (for Granada); Inescutcheon, Azure with three fleurs-de-lys Or, bordured Gules (for Bourbon).

Other elements
The whole is differenced by a blue label of three points azure.
Banner
The Princess' Standard comprises a light blue (the colour of the Flag of Asturias) square flag displaying the coat of arms of the heir to the Spanish throne in the centre.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In the languages of Spain, her name is:
    • Aragonese: Alionor;
    • Asturian: Lleonor;
    • Basque, Galician, Occitan and Spanish: Leonor, Spanish pronunciation: [leoˈnoɾ];
    • Catalan: Elionor.
  2. ^ In the languages of Spain:
    • Aragonese: Alionor de Totz os Santos de Borbón y Ortiz;
    • Asturian: Lleonor de Tolos Santos de Borbón y Ortiz;
    • Basque: Santu Guztien Leonor Borboikoa eta Ortiz;
    • Catalan: Elionor de Tots els Sants de Borbó i Ortiz;
    • Galician: Leonor de Todos os Santos de Borbón Ortiz;
    • Occitan: Leonor de Tots los Sants de Borbon Ortiz.
  3. ^ Leonor will become Spain's second queen regnant; or fourth, considering the dynastic unification of Spain's separate Crowns during the reigns of Isabella I and Joanna of Castile before Spain was formally unified under the latter's son, Carlos I of Spain. The female monarchs of the constituent kingdoms of Spain – including Leonor's namesake, Queen Leonor of Navarre – are hereby not considered, as they reigned before the unification of Spain.

References[edit]

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  4. ^ Marcos, Charo; Cernuda, Olalla (31 October 2005). "Letizia Ortiz da a luz una niña". El Mundo (in Spanish). Mundinteractivos. Archived from the original on 7 February 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
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  65. ^ "Princess Leonor to undertake first official trip abroad—find out where she's going!". HOLA! USA. 27 June 2024. Retrieved 13 July 2024.
  66. ^ RTVE.es (12 July 2024). "Leonor, en su primera visita oficial en Lisboa: "No puedo negar lo especial que es para mí estar aquí hoy"". RTVE.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 July 2024.
  67. ^ a b "Así ha sido el intenso viaje oficial de la Princesa Leonor a Portugal". ¡HOLA! (in Spanish). 12 July 2024. Retrieved 13 July 2024.
  68. ^ "Birth of HRH Infanta Doña Leonor". www.casareal.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2024.
  69. ^ ELA (19 June 2014). "Leonor, princesa y heredera al trono a los ocho años". www.elperiodico.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2024.
  70. ^ Telemadrid (20 June 2014). "Leonor se convierte en la princesa más joven de Europa". Telemadrid (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2024.
  71. ^ P, D. (4 July 2022). "Leonor y Sofía deslumbran con "looks" de invitada (y Letizia de azul marino) en los Premios Princesa de Girona". Vanity Fair (in European Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2024.
  72. ^ "La Princesa de Asturias y de Viana entregará el próximo miércoles en Pamplona los premios estatales al voluntariado social". www.navarra.es. Retrieved 24 June 2024.
  73. ^ "Leonor, princesa de Asturias, cumple diez años en la más estricta intimidad familiar" [Leonor, Princess of Asturias, turns ten in the strictest family intimacy]. Republica.com (in Spanish). 30 October 2015. Archived from the original on 10 June 2019. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  74. ^ "Los primeros Premios Princesa de Asturias no tendrán a su Princesa" [The first Princess of Asturias Awards will not have their Princess]. ¡Hola! USA. 19 October 2015. Archived from the original on 22 September 2022. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  75. ^ "BOLETÍN OFICIAL DEL ESTADO" (PDF) (in Spanish). Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 November 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  76. ^ RTVE.es (10 October 2023). "El Gobierno concede a la princesa Leonor el Collar de la Orden de Carlos III". RTVE.es (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 11 October 2023. Retrieved 10 October 2023.
  77. ^ "Real Decreto 783/2023, de 10 de octubre, por el que se concede el Collar de la Real y Distinguida Orden Española de Carlos III a Su Alteza Real la Princesa de Asturias, doña Leonor de Borbón y Ortiz". www.boe.es. Archived from the original on 14 October 2023. Retrieved 11 October 2023.
  78. ^ 20minutos (31 October 2023). "Así son las medallas del Congreso y el Senado otorgadas a la princesa Leonor en el día de su jura de la Constitución". www.20minutos.es - Últimas Noticias (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2 November 2023. Retrieved 2 November 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  79. ^ "ENTREGA DE REALES DESPACHOS DE EMPLEO EN LA ACADEMIA GENERAL MILITAR" [DELIVERY OF ROYAL EMPLOYMENT CERTIFICATES AT THE GENERAL MILITARY ACADEMY]. Royal House of Spain. 2 July 2024. Archived from the original on 2 July 2024. Retrieved 2 July 2024.
  80. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado
  81. ^ "Na chegada a Portugal, princesa Leonor foi condecorada por Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa" [On her arrival in Portugal, Princess Leonor was decorated by Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa]. Publico.pt. 12 July 2024. Retrieved 12 July 2024.
  82. ^ Real Decreto 979/2015 Archived 8 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE)

External links[edit]

Leonor, Princess of Asturias
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 31 October 2005
Lines of succession
First
Succession to the Spanish throne Succeeded by
Spanish royalty
Preceded by Princess of Asturias, Princess of Viana
Princess of Girona, Duchess of Montblanc,
Countess of Cervera, Lady of Balaguer

2014–present
Incumbent