Spain | Heir to the throne, Princess Leonor, to undergo military training
Defence Redefined
Published on 16/03/2023 at 12:42

The 17-year-old Princess Leonor, heir to the Spanish throne, will undergo a three-year military training starting in August, the Spanish Minister of Defence, Margarita Robles, announced yesterday.

The Spanish royal family is trying to restore its image after a series of scandals that marred it over the past decade, mainly relating to former King Juan Carlos who abdicated in 2014 in favor of his son, Felipe.

As in all of the reigning parliamentary democracies, the heir must have a military background and serve in the Armed Forces, Robles said after the cabinet meeting.

Princess Leonor, the eldest daughter of King Felipe of Spain, will graduate from UWC Atlantic College in Wales in a few months and will come of age in October when she celebrates her 18th birthday. She is first in line to the Spanish throne – unless King Felipe has a son – followed by her sister, Sofia.

In due course, the supreme commander of the Armed Forces will be a woman, said the Spanish Minister of Defence, adding that in recent years we have been making a very important effort in terms of the inclusion of women in the Armed Forces.

Princess Leonor will attend the Zaragoza Military Academy for one year, whereas in the second year, she will undergo naval training on the Navy’s training ship Juan Sebastian Elcano and then attend the Spanish Air Force Academy.

Spain’s royal family has agreed for Princess Leonor’s military training to precede her university studies. In other words, she will follow her father’s steps.

Juan Carlos was forced to abdicate the Spanish throne amid a scandal involving members of the royal family and after apologizing for a trip to Africa (an elephant safari) at a time when Spain was in economic turmoil.

The former monarch left Spain in August 2020 and moved to Abu Dhabi, when a prosecutorial investigation for fraud relating to him began, which was dropped last year.

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