The Spanish monarchy is taking steps to repair its image, which has been tarnished in recent years by various scandals. In an effort to continue the tradition of the heir to the throne having a military background, Princess Leonor, the 17-year-old daughter of King Felipe and first in line to the Spanish throne, will undergo three years of military training starting in August of this year.
Minister of Defense Margarita Robles Confirms Training
Minister of Defense Margarita Robles confirmed the news after a cabinet meeting, saying, "As in all parliamentary monarchies, the heir has to have a military background and a military career." Robles added, "In due course, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces will be a woman, and in recent years we have been making a very important effort to incorporate women into the armed forces."
Tradition in European Parliamentary Monarchies
The Royal Palace believes that Princess Leonor "must receive military training, as her father His Majesty the King did, and as is done in other parliamentary monarchies," according to Robles.
The Spanish Royal Palace stated that "it is a widely observed and shared tradition in European parliamentary monarchies that future heads of state develop a military career."
Princess Leonor's Military Career Path
Princess Leonor will begin her military training at the Military Academy in Zaragoza, spending her first year there before moving on to a naval school and finally completing her studies at the Air Force Academy.
She is expected to complete her two-year high school course at the UWC Atlantic College in Wales at the end of May, graduating with her International Baccalaureate.
Following in Father's Footsteps
If Princess Leonor follows in the footsteps of her father, King Felipe, she will attend university in Spain once she finishes her military training and then complete a master's degree abroad.
King Felipe studied law at Madrid's Complutense University and then obtained a master's in international relations at Georgetown University in Washington.