The time has come for Princess Leonor to prepare to become Queen of Spain. At 17, Leonor de Borbón y Ortiz will begin her military training in August which will last three years and will take place within the three army corps: her father, King Felipe VI, 55, received the same training before her. . In a country where military service is no longer compulsory, the decree relating to the instruction of the heiress to the throne was not published during the Council of Ministers on March 14. No doubt in order to avoid yet another debate on the future of the Crown. Socialist Defense Minister Margarita Robles made her announcement without telling members of the executive belonging to the radical left party Unidas Podemos – staunch and vindictive Republicans.
“This is wonderful news that underlines the natural functioning of institutions,” she greeted. Constantly questioned by the Republican left and damaged by the repeated scandals that splatter the former monarch Juan Carlos, the monarchy is in fact no longer obvious in Spain. The possibility that Leonor will one day succeed her father is also not a certainty. The monarchy is moreover so fragile that no government has yet dared to reform article 57.1 of the Constitution, which establishes the prevalence of male descendants in the line of succession, because it can only be so by referendum. However, a vote on the restoration of gender equality would run the risk of turning into a plebiscite for or against royalty.
A tailor-made course
The news of Leonor’s preparation therefore did not fail to raise, especially in the media, debates and comments of all kinds. For example, on the privileges granted to the heiress of Felipe VI who will not have to pass the very difficult entrance exams to the military academies. Or about the constraints imposed on a young girl who has no right to missteps or “to the wanderings” (El País) specific to his age. And for whom “the moment of truth” (El Confidential) came. The government welcomed the fact that this training “will reinforce the increasingly important role of women in the armed forces”. The daily El País recalled thatthey represent only 13% of the workforcewhich is however two points more than the average in the NATO countries, and wonders if the incorporation of the princess will be able to accelerate the movement towards more parity in the army.
After passing her international baccalaureate at the very upscale Atlantic College, in Wales, where she has been studying since 2021, Princess Leonor will take a tailor-made course. She will enter the first year at the General Military Academy of Zaragoza, where, after the oath of allegiance to the flag, traditionally pronounced in the first term, she will continue with the second year students. So that, at the following school year, she will join the third year students at the Naval School, in Marín, in Galicia.
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