Leonor, the princess of Spain who will continue to break the mold

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In August of this year Princess Leonora he will begin his military training, a period to which, unlike other heirs to the throne, he will have to devote the same commitment as his father, Philip VI of Spain.

The first European heir to the throne to receive military training was Princess Victoria of Sweden, who joined the Swedish Armed Forces International Center when she was 26, thus becoming the first cadet princess of the European court: in fact, although three queens led the armies of their respective countries at the time (Elizabeth II in the United Kingdom, Queen Beatrix in the Netherlands and Margaret II in Denmark), none of them had ever attended a military academy. However, Victoria of Sweden’s military training lasted only three weeks, far less than that spent not only by her father, King Carl Gustaf, but also by her only brother, Prince Carl Philip.

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Victoria of Sweden’s entry into the military academy also took place much later than her predecessor: while King Carl Gustaf enlisted in the army immediately after graduating, Vittoria entered the military academy after completing her university studies. It was 2003, the year in which his brother Carlo Filippo was already a second lieutenant.

In any case, Victoria of Sweden paved the way for successive generations of heirs to the throne.

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In August 2020, Princess Elisabeth of Belgium followed in his footsteps and entered the Royal Military Academy in Brussels to prepare for her role as future head of the Belgian Armed Forces. The military training of the heir to the Belgian throne lasted an entire academic year, a longer period than that of Princess Victoria, but also shorter than that spent by her father at the same institution: King Philip, in fact, spent three years at Royal Military Academy of Brussels.

Unlike them, Princess Leonor will spend the same amount of time as her father in the three military academies. As announced yesterday by the Minister of Defense and the Royal House, his training period will begin in August at the General Military Academy of Zaragoza, where he will take up service as an army cadet. The following year, he will begin training in the Navy aboard the Juan Sebastián de Elcano training ship as well as at the Naval Military School of Marín, while in 2025 he will enter the General Air Academy of San Javier to complete the third year serving in the Air Force.

The same process was followed in his time by Philip VI, who (like now his daughter) attended the three military academies before starting university. «The experience acquired by HM the King during his stay in the academies constitutes a precious precedent for believing that the military training of HRH the Princess of Asturias should also last three academic years, one for the Army, one for the Navy and one for the Air Force», explained the Zarzuela press release yesterday.

Princess Leonor will thus become the heir to the European throne to have so far spent the most time as a student in her country’s military academies, as well as the first princess to devote as much time as her father. “Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain welcome this new stage in Princess Leonor’s training with the satisfaction of knowing her willingness, interest and enthusiasm to receive this training”. reads again in the press release of the Royal House. “Princess Leonor knows the demands and sacrifices of military life and is well aware of the honor it entails to train and serve alongside the men and women of our Armed Forces.”

Source: Vanity Fair

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