With the introduction of absolute primogeniture in most European monarchies, there are now several Queens in waiting, though Spain is unfortunately not one of these countries, it still has a female heir. With our series Female Heirs, we’ll be taking a look at those young women who will one day rule in their own right. Today we’ll be taking a look at Leonor, Princess of Asturias.
Leonor, Princess of Asturias, was born on 31 October 2005 to then Prince and Princess of Asturias, now King Felipe VI of Spain and Queen Letizia. She was born during the reign of her grandfather, King Juan Carlos I. She was second in the line of succession at the time of her birth and is currently first in line. However, Spain still practises male-preference primogeniture and any subsequent son born to her father would displace her as the heir.
Leonor left the hospital with her parents on 7 November 2005, and her baptism took place in the Zarzuela Palace on 14 January 2006. Her full name is Leonor de Todos los Santos de Borbón y Ortiz. Her grandfather and grandmother, King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia, acted as her godparents. A younger sister Infanta Sofía was born in 2007.
Leonor’s education began at the Santa María de los Rosales Primary School, just outside Madrid. Her younger sister later also enrolled there. Leonor is already fluent in Spanish and English, and she has also studied Mandarin.
Since 2014, Leonor has slowly become more visible to the public. She made her first official visit in May 2014 to the San Javier Air Force Base in Murcia. Just a few months later, her grandfather abdicated the throne, and her father became the new King. Leonor, as the eldest daughter with no brothers, became the heiress presumptive and received the titles Princess of Asturias, Princess of Girona, Princess of Viana, Duchess of Montblanc, Countess of Cervera and Lady of Balaguer. In 2015, Leonor received First Communion.
On 30 October 2014 – the day before her 10th birthday – she was granted the Order of the Golden Fleece, and she was officially given the collar of the Golden Fleece in January 2018 to coincide with her father’s 50th birthday. She also received her own personal standard and guidon. In 2018, she went with her parents to celebrate the 1,300th anniversary of the Kingdom of Asturias, and on her 13th birthday, she gave her first public speech, where she read the first article of the Constitution of Spain. In 2019, she gave her first speech at the Princess of Girona Foundation, where she spoke in Spanish, Catalan, English and Arabic.
If Leonor succeeds her father as expected, she will be Spain’s first queen regnant since Queen Isabella II, who reigned from 1833 to 1868.