Princess Leonor of Spain is set for a big milestone in her young life when she makes her first solo royal engagement on March 24. The Spanish royal palace confirmed the 15-year-old will visit the Cervantes Institute in Madrid as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations. It's a special moment for King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia's eldest daughter because it sees her taking on more royal duties.
Royals fans are familiar with Leonor and her younger sister, Princess Sofia, because they have participated in different royal engagements and supported causes with their parents. The teenagers are always seen in the Spanish royals' Christmas cards and they have still been active during COVID-19. But you might be curious to hear more about Leonor's life so far.
Ahead of her big solo engagement, here's everything to know about the Spanish princess:
1. She was born on Halloween!
Princess Leonor was born on Oct. 31, 2005 at Ruber International Hospital in Madrid. She is the eldest child and first daughter of Letizia and Felipe. She's also the heir presumptive. Her title at birth was Her Royal Highness Infanta Leonor of Spain. In January 2006, she was baptized at Zarzuela Palace.
2. Her parents posed with her as a newborn as she left the hospital.
Leonor was born by C-section. The newborn and Letizia left the hospital on Nov. 7, 2005, a week after her birth. Letizia and Felipe posed for photographers outside of the hospital and gave the world a first glimpse of the little royal!
After Leonor's birth, Felipe, who was a prince at the time, held a press conference along with the medical team.
3. Leonor holds a number of titles.
The 15-year-old's official title is Princess of Asturias, which is the title given to the heir presumptive or heir apparent, now that her father is king.
Leonor holds a few historical titles, including Princess of Girona and Princess of Viana, as well as Duchess of Montblanc, Countess of Cervera and Lady of Balaguer.
4.When she ascends to the throne, she will be the first Queen of Spain since the 1800s.
The last queen regent to have ruled Spain was Isabella II, who ruled from 1833 to 1868. Due to the Glorious Revolution of 1868, she was deposed, then she formally abdicated in 1870. Isabella was succeeded by her son, Alfonso XII, who became king in 1874.
Leonor's father, Felipe, has been monarch of Spain since he ascended the throne on June 19, 2014, following the abdication of his father, Juan Carlos I.
5. She can speak Spanish and English.
Leonor appears to be gifted in languages. She is fluent in Spanish and English and she has even studied Mandarin during her schooling. She reportedly learned English thanks to her British nanny and grandmother, Queen Sofia.
6. The young royal attended nursery school at Cuartel del Pardo.
Leonor looked absolutely adorable when she attended nursery school at Cuartel del Pardo in September 2007 for the first time. She was photographed with her parents carrying a colourful wheeled backpack.
The daycare was for members of the Spanish Royal Guard and it is located very near to Madrid.
7. She began her education in Aravaca at Centro Privado de Enseñanza Santa María de los Rosales.
After attending daycare, Leonor began her proper education at Santa María de los Rosales School in Aravaca, a community just outside of Madrid, in 2008. Princess Sofia would later attend the institution.
The girls' father is also an alumnus of the private school!
8. In 2011, Leonor and Sofia signed their family's Christmas card for the first time.
Royals fans have come to expect sweet family portraits from royals around the world for their holiday cards. The Spanish royals' 2011 Christmas card was very special because Leonor and younger sister Sofia signed their names for the first time.
9. Her first royal engagement was considered to be in 2014.
Princess Leonor has attended many royal events over her life, including Easter celebrations, charity events and travelling around to different parts of Spain. When Leonor and Sofia attended the National Day Military Parade on Oct. 12, 2014 in Madrid, it was considered their first big royal event. King Felipe had ascended the throne a few months prior.
10. She was given the Order of the Golden Fleece just before her 10th birthday.
Before turning double digits, the Princess of Asturias was granted the Order of the Golden Fleece (Toison de Oro), Spain's most prestigious award, from King Felipe in a special ceremony in January 2018.
11. Leonor gave her first public speech in 2018.
At 13 years old, Princess Leonor delivered her first-ever public address for the 40th anniversary of Spain’s Constitution. The event was held at the Cervantes Institute in Madrid on Oct. 31, 2008 – which also happened to be her birthday!
After her father King Felipe delivered his remarks, the teenager took to the podium to read the first of the 169 articles of Spain's Carta Magna, as her proud dad looked on.
12. She made her debut at the Princess of Asturias Awards in 2019.
At the Princess of Asturias Awards in October 2019, the teenager wowed by delivering a flawless speech in different languages, including Spanish and English. Princess Leonor also "pledged her life to the service of Spain" in the speech. Felipe, Letizia, Princess Sofia and Queen Sofia supported Leonor for her debut at the awards.
13. Princess Leonor's first public speech has a special connection with her first solo engagement.
The statement from the Spanish Royal Court announcing the Princess of Asturias's first solo engagement in March 2021 underscored its special connection.
Translated from Spanish, the message read, "In her first solo activity and as a symbolic act, the Princess of
Asturias will deposit in the Caja de las Letras the copy of the
Constitution that she read on October 31, 2018 and the copy of
Don Quixote whose reading she shared on April 23, 2020 with the Infanta Sofia."
14. Her last public royal engagement was in December 2020.
Princess Leonor was last seen with Queen Letizia, King Felipe and Princess Sofia at a meeting with the Princess of Girona Foundation (FPdGI) at the Royal Palace of El Pardo on Dec. 11, 2020 in Madrid.
15. She will be attending school in Wales.
It was revealed at the start of this year that Princess Leonor will be going to the prestigious UWC Atlantic College in the Vale of Glamorgan from August 2021. She will undertake studies in the International Baccalaureate program for two years. The school has seen many royal graduates and the $116,000 course will be paid for entirely by King Felipe and Queen Letizia.
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