The Untold Truth Of Princess Leonor Of Spain

Princess Leonor of Spain might be just 15 years old, but the pint-sized royal is already taking on adult-like duties. King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia's eldest daughter attended her first-ever solo royal engagement in Madrid on March 24, where she visited the Spanish language school, Cervantes Institute, on its 30th anniversary, per Hello! The government-run institute, which has branched out to 45 different countries worldwide, helps promote and teach Spanish language and culture. The young princess, however, took her tour quite seriously, donning a face mask and presenting a copy of the Spanish Constitution, which she read in her first public speech back in 2019 at only 13 years old, per Hello!

Nevertheless, Princess Leonor was hard at work long before then, previously attending National Military parades, addressing Spaniards via video message during the COVID-19 outbreak, and even providing advice for her father, King Felipe, from time to time. Back in July 2020, she sweetly reminded him to put his face mask back on after delivering a speech at a state tribute to coronavirus victims, per Hello!

While we expect young royals to live their lives perhaps a little differently than the average teenager, it seems as if Princess Leonor is taking on more responsibilities than her tiara-wearing counterparts. Why is that? Perhaps it has something to do with her being first in line to the Spanish throne.

Princess Leonor will be the first Queen of Spain since the 1800s

Who needs a few middle names, when royals like Princess Leonor of Spain have six royal titles? At birth, she was known as Her Royal Highness Infanta Leonor of Spain, but when her father Crown Prince Felipe ascended the throne to become King Felipe VI, the young royal inherited his former title — given to any heir presumptive — Her Royal Highness The Princess of Asturias, per Hello! The teen's other historical titles include Princess of Girona and Princess of Viana, as well as Duchess of Montblanc, Countess of Cervera, and Lady of Balaguer, per Hello!

On top of having a few interchangeable royal names, Princess Leonor is also part of the new generation of Europe's future queens, which also includes Princess Amalia of the Netherlands, Princess Ingrid of Norway, Princess Elisabeth of Belgium, and Princess Estelle of Sweden, per Hello! Beyoncé was right — "Who the run world? Girls."

Princess Leonor is now the youngest heir presumptive in Europe and will eventually be the first Queen of Spain since the 1800s, per Hello! The last queen regent to have ruled Spain was Isabella II, who ruled from 1833 to 1868. However, following the country's Glorious Revolution of 1868 — which saw Isabella deposed due to "political interference" — her son Alfonoso XII took over as monarch in 1874.

Princess Leonor's grandfather, the former King of Spain, is under investigation for alleged corruption

Being Queen of Spain may have been further down the line for Princess Leonor, had her grandfather, Juan Carlos, not abdicated back in 2014. Juan Carlos has allegedly been part of a number of scandals, which have damaged the Spanish monarchy, according to The Guardian. His initial reasons for abdicating included a controversial and expensive elephant-hunting trip to Botswana during a time when Spain was suffering from rising unemployment and a recession as a result of the 2008 financial crisis, per The Guardian.

Despite no longer ruling, Juan Carlos has continued to make headlines after authorities began investigating him for multiple corruption allegations in June 2020, per The Guardian. It's believed the "disgraced" former king was entangled in an overseas infrastructure project in 2008, which saw a Spanish firm win a €6.7 billion ($USD 8.06 billion) contract to build a high-speed rail line in the Middle East. Reports allege Juan Carlos received a $100 million "donation" from Saudi Arabia's controversial King Abdullah three years before the contract was awarded, which he hid in Swiss bank accounts. It was even suggested that King Felipe VI (Princess Leonor's father) would financially benefit from this, so, in March 2021, he stripped Juan Carlos's annual stipend and renounced his personal inheritance. 

Following that, Juan Carlos announced he would go into exile to protect his family from further embarrassment. Since his departure, Spanish media has continued to poke fun at him, with the country's biggest TV station, RTVE, coming under fire for comparing Princess Leonor to him, per Euro Weekly. After it was publicized that Princess Leonor would be attending school in Wales, a title appeared on screen reading: "Leonor is leaving Spain, like her grandfather."

Princess Leonor applied and got into a prestigious school in Wales anonymously

Comparing Princess Leonor to her exiled grandfather was certainly a misstep when the young royal humbly applied to a Welsh school without her title and name attached. On February 10, King Felipe and Queen Letizia announced Leonor would attend the prestigious UWC Atlantic College in the Welsh Countryside of Vale of Glamorgan in August 2021, per Hello! The princess would finish her schooling there, undertaking studies at its renowned International Baccalaureate program. Her parents also plan to pay for its $116,000 course fees, which makes sense given recent public backlash against the former King Juan Carlos' financial handlings. 

But what's most impressive is the teenager obtained admission to the school on her own accord, taking several tests anonymously, according to the royal household, per USA Today. The school, which is based at the 12th-century St. Donat's Castle, reportedly takes in students from 150 countries, with the royal family noting its "open and critical approach" to learning. 

Princess Leonor won't be the only royal at the school, either, with Princess Alexia of the Netherlands — the second daughter of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima — also in attendance during the upcoming summer semester, per Hello!

Princess Leonor's mother forbids her from taking up a profession despite previously being a journalist

While some teenagers dream about their career and what life has in store, Princess Leonor does not have much choice at all. During a royal visit to the Spanish island of Mallorca in September 2020, the princess was asked by another teenager what she would like to achieve as an adult, but before she could even answer, her mother chimed in, per Express. Queen Letizia bluntly intervened in the interview and said, "What she has to do, not what she wants to do." Her remarks reportedly made headlines in Spain. 

While Princess Leonor is Spain's future monarch, Queen Letizia's comments are somewhat surprising given she was not born into aristocracy and instead was a former working girl herself. Before she became a queen, Letizia worked as a journalist for a number of renowned global news firms including ABC, CNN, and Bloomberg. 

During the invasion of Iraq, Queen Letizia flew out to the country and broadcast live from the frontlines, and even covered former U.S. presidential elections and the September 11 attacks, per Hello! It was not until November 2002 when the interviewer fell in love with her subject, King Felipe. Letizia was reporting on an ecological disaster in Northern Spain when she became reacquainted with the then-Prince of Asturias, who was providing assistance to local communities.

Princess Leonor doesn't have a mobile phone and shares a bedroom with her sister

While Princess Leonor may not be able to choose a "normal" career, she apparently had quite the normal childhood. Back in 2017, Hello! reported that the young royal had neither a mobile phone nor an Instagram account, and that she even shared a bedroom with her younger sister, Princess Sofia. Leonor, however, is allowed to have a camera and is reportedly a "budding photographer," often taking snaps when she travels — an interest she likely adopted from her grandmother Queen Sofia, an amateur photographer herself, or her journalist mother Queen Letizia, of course.

Despite photography probably only ever being a hobby for the royal, there are perks to wearing the crown professionally ... like having your own wax figure. The young royal was immortalized in wax in 2014, wearing a silver dress like the one she donned at her father's coronation. Her figure was unveiled alongside her parents at Spain's Madrid Wax Museum, per Hello!

Aside from a life-sized version of herself, Princess Leonor also received her own personal postage stamp collection when she was just 9 years old, per Hello! The special stamps featured a portrait of her, as well as an image of the Campoamor Theater in Oviedo, Spain, in recognition of a long-running cultural awards show re-named in her honor.