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Princess Leonor, 2019 | Princess Leonor, 2009 | Princess Leonor, 2021 | Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor, Infanta Sofia, King Felipe VI, 2019 | Princess Leonor and Queen Letizia, 2022 | Source: Getty Images
Princess Leonor, 2019 | Princess Leonor, 2009 | Princess Leonor, 2021 | Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor, Infanta Sofia, King Felipe VI, 2019 | Princess Leonor and Queen Letizia, 2022 | Source: Getty Images

Future Queen of Spain Princess Leonor Turned 16 — Royal Teen Already Made 1st Speech & Had Solo Engagement

Junie Sihlangu
Oct 31, 2022
03:00 A.M.
  • Princess Leonor de Borbón was the saver of the Crown of Spain.

  • Despite being so young, the royal had already taken on some essential duties.

  • In 2022, the princess lived a life away from her aunts.

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In August 2020, The Times reported how Juan Carlos I was the former King of Spain before his abdication in 2014. He left his position due to allegations of corruption, and now the country looked to his granddaughter, Princess Leonor de Borbón.

Then 14, Leonor was the heir to the Spanish throne while the current reigning monarch was her father, King Felipe VI. Despite being so young, the teenager was expected to start building her name amongst the public.

King Juan Carlos of Spain at Clinico Hospital after a train crash on July 25, 2013, in Santiago de Compostela, Spain | Source: Getty Images

King Juan Carlos of Spain at Clinico Hospital after a train crash on July 25, 2013, in Santiago de Compostela, Spain | Source: Getty Images

Leonor, 16, in October 2022, was seen as the future of the modernized monarchy. A palace source even described her as "very young, but modern, well-educated and a woman," while noting how those qualities were crucial as Spain's feminist movement grew, adding:

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"She is a great asset."

Crown Princess Leonor of Spain at a concert ahead of the "Princesa De Asturias" Awards on October 27, 2022, in Oviedo, Spain | Source: Getty Images

Crown Princess Leonor of Spain at a concert ahead of the "Princesa De Asturias" Awards on October 27, 2022, in Oviedo, Spain | Source: Getty Images

In 2014, Leonor, then eight, was described as "Europe's youngest direct royal heir," but she started her journey of taking on her role before she even turned 14, and by age 15, she was doing solo engagements. The royal was also well-educated and could charm guests with her skills.

Leonor's Walk to Becoming Worthy of the Crown

At age eight, Leonor was still a typical young girl who took ballet lessons and loved eating ice cream before Carlos I abdicated, making her a significant person in Spain. By age 13 in 2018, the little girl performed her first royal speech.

King Felipe VI of Spain and Princess Leonor of Spain at the reading of the Spanish Constitution for the 40th anniversary of its approval by the Congress at the Cervantes Institute on October 31, 2018, in Madrid, Spain | Source: Getty Images

King Felipe VI of Spain and Princess Leonor of Spain at the reading of the Spanish Constitution for the 40th anniversary of its approval by the Congress at the Cervantes Institute on October 31, 2018, in Madrid, Spain | Source: Getty Images

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Instead of celebrating her teenagehood with a party and friends, Leonor was delivering her first public address at the 40th anniversary of Spain's Constitution. While at the Cervantes Institute in Madrid, the princess took to the podium after her father read the Constitution's preamble.

The young royal firmly read the first of the 169 articles of Spain's Carta Magna. Earlier in the year, on January 30, 2018, Leonor was honored by her father when he bestowed the Order of Golden Fleece honors on her.

Princess Leonor of Spain receives the Order of Golden Fleece (Toison de Oro) from King Felipe VI of Spain on January 30, 2018, in Madrid, Spain | Source: Getty Images

Princess Leonor of Spain receives the Order of Golden Fleece (Toison de Oro) from King Felipe VI of Spain on January 30, 2018, in Madrid, Spain | Source: Getty Images

The following year in November, the princess made her public-speaking debut in Barcelona at an awards ceremony for the Princess of Girona Foundation, where guests were charmed by her language versatility. She made comments in Catalan, Spanish, English, and Arabic.

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Showing her immense growth in a short period, by March 2021, the 15-year-old had her first solo engagement! She went to Spain's Cervantes Institute to celebrate its 30th anniversary, giving the staff a copy of the Spanish Constitution.

Princess Leonor at the 30th Anniversary of the Cervantes Institute on March 24, 2021, in Madrid, Spain | Source: Getty Images

Princess Leonor at the 30th Anniversary of the Cervantes Institute on March 24, 2021, in Madrid, Spain | Source: Getty Images

The second book she gave them was "Don Quixote" by Cervantes. Despite all the exposure Leonor has gotten at such a young age, her mother ensured she and her sister, Infanta Sofia, stayed away from certain family members.

How Leonor's Mother Grooms Her and Her Sister

In 2022, Express revealed how Leonor's mother hoped to distance her and Sofia from the "frivolous image" held by their aunts Elena and Cristina and the former's daughter Victoria Federica. Elena's daughter was said to be pursuing a life where she would be "influencing," but that was frowned upon in the royal circle.

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Queen Sofia shopping with her daughters, Infantas Elena and Cristina, on the streets of Palma de Mallorca on August 10, 2009 | Source: Getty Images

Queen Sofia shopping with her daughters, Infantas Elena and Cristina, on the streets of Palma de Mallorca on August 10, 2009 | Source: Getty Images

Victoria seemed to be focusing on a new hobby - fashion - as seen at that year's Paris Fashion Week. Jaime de Marichalar, her father, also often attended fashion shows with her and appeared to support her in her new venture entirely.

The Queen allegedly wished to introduce her daughters to cultural activities during their annual trips. Journalist Rosa Villacastín told a Spanish news website more about Letizia's hopes, stating:

"She wants her daughters to visit cultural centres, not to watch them stroll around the Náutico all day as the Infantas did."

Jaime de Marichalar and Victoria Federica at Mutua Madrid Open on May 12, 2019, in Madrid, Spain | Source: Getty Images

Jaime de Marichalar and Victoria Federica at Mutua Madrid Open on May 12, 2019, in Madrid, Spain | Source: Getty Images

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For instance, the King, Queen, and their daughters visited La Cartuja de Valldemossa that same year. The royal palace was built in 1309, and at one point, it was converted into a Carthusian monastery, but that year it held objects of the Municipal Museum.

The Queen hoped she could teach her children how to enjoy culture and the arts to broaden their cultural level and intellectual world. Although Leonor was still relatively young in 2022, she'd already amassed many royal titles.

King Felipe VI of Spain, Crown Princess Leonor of Spain, Princess Sofia of Spain, and Queen Letizia of Spain seen walking through the city center during their vacation on August 10, 2022, in Palma de Mallorca, Spain | Source: Getty Images

King Felipe VI of Spain, Crown Princess Leonor of Spain, Princess Sofia of Spain, and Queen Letizia of Spain seen walking through the city center during their vacation on August 10, 2022, in Palma de Mallorca, Spain | Source: Getty Images

According to Hello! Magazine, her official royal title was Princess of Asturias, a title given to the heir presumptive or apparent now that her father was the king. Her other historical titles included Princess of Viana, Duchess of Montblanc, Princess of Girona, Lady of Balaguer, and Countess of Cervera.

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The next role or title she would hold when the time came was the Queen of Spain, and she would make history as the first Queen Regnant since the 19th century. Leonor celebrated her 15th birthday in 2021 after being born on October 31, 2005.

Princess Leonor visits Santa Maria del Puerto de Somiedo on October 23, 2021, in Somiedo, Spain | Source: Getty Images

Princess Leonor visits Santa Maria del Puerto de Somiedo on October 23, 2021, in Somiedo, Spain | Source: Getty Images

Being the oldest child, she often accompanied her parents on official royal outings and had begun taking on more official duties. In July 2022, the princess's summer vacation from college began.

In her speech, [Princess] Leonor also mentioned how she and [Infanta] Sofia had seen the winner's projects, which they admired and were impressed by.

Unlike other children her age, the young royal had several public engagements instead of just taking time off. On July 4, 2022, her family joined her again at the Princess of Girona Foundation Awards.

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Crown Princess Leonor of Spain at the Princesa de Girona Foundation Awards at the Agbar Foundation on July 4, 2022, in Barcelona, Spain | Source: Getty Images

Crown Princess Leonor of Spain at the Princesa de Girona Foundation Awards at the Agbar Foundation on July 4, 2022, in Barcelona, Spain | Source: Getty Images

A few days before that event, Leonor attended several engagements on behalf of the Princess of Girona Foundation. The royal impressively spoke Catalan, Spanish, and English at the awards ceremony.

Showing how grown up, she was for her age, the princess praised the five female winners of that year's Princess of Girona Foundation Awards. Each year the organization presents awards to people between the ages of 16 and 35.

According to the foundation's website, those who won were recognized for the "stand out for their work, their merits and their exemplarity" by the international community. The five women who won for 2022 made history as it was the first time only females won.

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King Felipe VI of Spain and Crown Princess Leonor of Spain at the Princesa de Girona Foundation Awards at the Agbar Foundation on July 4, 2022, in Barcelona, Spain | Source: Getty Images

King Felipe VI of Spain and Crown Princess Leonor of Spain at the Princesa de Girona Foundation Awards at the Agbar Foundation on July 4, 2022, in Barcelona, Spain | Source: Getty Images

María Hervás took the accolade in the Arts and Letters category, while Elisenda Bou won in the Business category. Claudia Tecglen earned her award for the Social category, and Eleonora Viezzer won in the Scientific Research category.

Last was Trang Nguyen, who won the International Prize category. In her speech, Leonor also mentioned how she and Sofia had seen the winner's projects, which they admired and were impressed by.

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