SPAIN: Crown Princess Leonor of Spain, who is thought to be the heir to the throne, will start three years of military training at the end of this year to get ready for her future job as head of state, Spanish Defence Minister Margarita Robles said at a news conference on Wednesday.
“In the Cabinet Meeting today, we approved a royal decree whose aim is to give structure to the military training and career of Princess Leonor,” said Robles.
The 17-year-old, who is the elder of King Felipe VI’s two daughters and first in line for succession, will succeed to the position of the supreme leader of the armed forces upon the resignation or demise of her father.
Leonor will undergo a three-year military education during which she will spend a year with each of Spain’s armed forces: the army, navy, and air force, similar to what her father did before becoming monarch.
“It shows that we will have when the time comes, a supreme commander who is a woman,” said Robles, adding that “and in the recent years, we’ve made a big effort to incorporate women into the armed forces.”
Leonor’s training will start in August or September after she completes her studies at the UWC Atlantic College in Wales, which counts numerous royals among its current and former students, including the Netherlands’ King Willem-Alexander and his daughter, Princess Alexia.
“It’s an essential step in the life of Her Royal Highness… toward the leadership of our country,” Robles said.
After completing her military training, Leonor will hold the ranks of ensign in the navy, lieutenant in the army, and commander of the air force and space command. Then, Robles continued, she could pursue a degree at a university.
The Spanish monarchy has undergone significant strain in recent years as Felipe has attempted to keep himself apart from his father, King Juan Carlos. In June 2014, Juan Carlos abdicated in favor of his son amid a financial scandal and criticism over an elephant-hunting excursion to Botswana amid Spain’s financial crisis in 2012.
In August 2020, Juan Carlos left the nation after his financial transactions came under scrutiny. Last year, Spanish authorities ended their investigation into him and did not file any charges.
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