Princess Leonor, 17 and heir to the Spanish throne, will undergo three years of military training starting in August, Defense Minister Margarita Robles said on Tuesday.
The Spanish government is struggling to rebuild its image after a series of crises in the last decade, mainly linked to former king Juan Carlos who abdicated in 2014 for his son , King Felipe. “Just like all governments, the parliament (the successor) must have a military position and a military career,” said Robles after the cabinet meeting.
Felipe’s eldest daughter Leonor, who will finish her two years of high school at UWC Atlantic College in Wales in a few months, turns 18 in October. He is first in the line of succession unless a male heir is born, followed by his sister Sophia. “In time, the commander-in-chief of the army will be a woman, and in recent years we have made a significant effort to include women in the armed forces,” said Robles.
The princess will receive her first year of training at the Army Military Academy in Zaragoza, then go to a naval school, which includes sailing on the Juan Sebastian Elcano advanced training ship, and finish her training at the General Air Academy. The government and the Royal House have agreed that his “extremely rigorous” military training will precede university education, following in his father’s footsteps in the 1980s.
Juan Carlos resigned amid a tax fraud case involving members of the royal family and following a scandal over his elephant-hunting trip to Africa at a time when Spain was facing a deep recession.
The former king has been living in Abu Dhabi since August 2020, when he left Spain after several investigations were opened in Spain and Switzerland about fraud. The investigation was later terminated.
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