Paying for her grandfather’s “sins”: why the 17-year-old princess of Spain is really going to study military sciences for three years

The local press continues to compare Leonor with the Disney princesses.


17-year-old Princess Leonor of Asturias, heir to the Spanish throne, will undergo three years of military training. In just a couple of months, the eldest daughter of King Felipe VI of Spain will graduate from Atlantic College in Wales and come of age. But instead of college, the young woman shows off in a military uniform and receiving an officer’s rank. This was announced by the Spanish Defense Minister, Margarita Robles.

“In all parliamentary monarchies, the heir must have a military background and a military career,” Robles said. “Because eventually a woman will become commander-in-chief, in recent years we have been making a lot of efforts to integrate women into the military.” The fact is that Felipe VI has two daughters and, if he is not born a boy to the royal couple, Leonor will inherit the throne.

The young princess will have to study all kinds of troops. The first year Leonor will train at the Combined Arms Academy, located in Zaragoza. For the second year, the girl will go to the Naval School, where she will train, including on a sailboat, and the third year she will do so at the Air Force Superior School in San Javier. After graduation, the princess will receive lieutenant’s epaulettes from all three types of troops.

Sources from the Spanish newspaper El País in military circles believe that the training of the heir to the throne is necessary not so much to acquire knowledge about the armed forces, but to establish personal ties with the cadets who, when Leonor assumes the throne, will constitute Spain’s military elite.

After receiving military training, the princess, like her father, will also receive a secular education at the university. Eleanor is actively preparing for an honorary role: in addition to studying, the girl participates in ceremonial events, plays the cello, plays tennis and sails. The local press continues to compare her to Disney cartoon princesses.

This image of the heiress plays into the hands of the royal family, which is desperately trying to improve its image after the scandalous abdication of the throne by King Juan Carlos, Leonor’s grandfather. Juan Carlos ceded the throne to his son amid reputational and financial scandals that fueled anti-monarchy sentiment in Spain. Since then, Felipe VI has worked hard to distance himself from his father and restore the people’s faith in the monarchy.


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