Princess Leonor, the new face of the Spanish monarchy

As heir to the Spanish throne, Princess Leonor de Bourbon will swear allegiance to the constitution on Tuesday, her 18th birthday, in a landmark event for the Spanish monarchy that will further distance the memory of the eventful end of her grandfather Juan’s reign.

• Read more: Catholic Church in Spain: More than 200,000 allegedly sexually abused

“On October 31, I will be 18 years old and will have the honor of swearing an oath on the Constitution (…) I understand very well and I know what my duty is and what my responsibilities are,” he declared in October. 20 Princess of Asturias, her official title.



AFP

Once he is sworn in, the heir to the Spanish crown can constitutionally succeed his father, King Felipe VI, as head of state and armed forces.

The ceremony, which will be broadcast on giant screens in the center of Madrid, will begin at 10:00 GMT in front of both houses of Parliament in an extraordinary session, in the presence of key representatives of the state.

The long-prepared rite of passage was enjoyed in 1969 by his grandfather Juan Carlos I, who was named his successor by dictator Francisco Franco, who died six years later, and then by his father, Felipe VI, in 1986.



Princess Leonor, the new face of the Spanish monarchy

AFP

For journalist José Antonio Zarzalejos, former editor-in-chief of El Corrio and ABC dailies and author of the book Felipe VI, the event is “very important because it provides stability and continuity to the Spanish crown”. End of Juan Carlos’ reign.

San Juan Carlos

Juan Carlos, long widely praised for implementing Spain’s democratic transition since 1975, has seen his popularity plummet after embarrassing revelations about his dubious fortunes, extramarital affairs and extravagant lifestyle.

These scandals forced him to step down in 2014 and exile him to the United Arab Emirates in 2020. The legal proceedings against him were certainly closed, but not because his innocence had been established, but because of limitation reasons or because he enjoyed immunity. 2014 as State President.

Since his departure for the Gulf, he has returned to Spain only for rare personal visits.

Mr. Sarcelejos sums it up.

He hopes that his son Felipe VI will “restore the reputation of the monarchy” and Leonor will help strengthen this movement. Especially since the princess, as a woman, is “in phase” with society, he explains.

In a sign of a break with the past, Juan Carlos will not attend the oath-taking ceremony in Parliament. According to the Spanish press, he will attend a private celebration following the ceremony.

Representatives of the Basque, Catalan and Galician independence parties, of the republican persuasion and who have never attended meetings with the king, and a section of the anti-monarchist far-left will boycott the ceremony.

On Saturday, a Republican Party meeting in Madrid described Leonor’s inauguration as “an act of consolidating the Spanish monarchy (which is) an institution historically corrupt and still distant from citizens”.

A “normal” profile

Unlike his grandfather, however, Leonor enjoys a good image in a country where debate over the monarchy is perpetual. “She has no fuss, no stories” and a “normal” profile, focused on her family and her studies, Mr. Sarsalejos underlines.

Leonore, who also speaks French, English and Catalan, is learning Basque and Galician, attended private school “Colegio Santa Maria de los Rosales” in Madrid before going to boarding school at UWC Atlantic College in Wales. He completed his B.Sc.

By convention, in August he began a year of military training at the Military Academy, which he would continue with a year in the Air Force and another in the Navy.

If he were to follow in his father’s footsteps, he would study at a public university in Spain and then attend a prestigious foreign university to earn a master’s degree in international relations. In the case of Felipe VI, it was Georgetown University in Washington.

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