Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to Princess Leonor of Spain. Leonor, The Princess of Asturias turns 18 today. The age of majority. The Future Queen of Spain is celebrating her birthday in Spanish Royal style – By taking an oath of the Spanish Constitution in front of a joint session of Congress and Senate at the the plenary hall of the Congress of Deputies.
Born on this day in 2005, Princess Leonor is the elder daughter of King Felipe VI and his wife Queen Letizia of Spain. Leonor became the heir presumptive to the Spanish throne in May 2014 when her father ascended to the throne. She holds the title of Princess of Asturias – the traditional title of the future Spanish Monarch along with Princess of Girona, Princess of Viana, Duchess Montblanc, Countess of Cervera and Lady of Balaguer.
As per the tradition, when the heir/heiress to the Spanish throne turns 18, they took a solemn Oath to uphold the Spanish Constitution and pledge their allegiance to the Constitution. You can watch the live ceremony here. The Royal Family arrived at the Congress escorted by the Royal Household Cavalry.
The ceremony was small but very much in line with the Spanish tradition. It was an emotional moment for proud parents, King Felipe and Queen Letizia, to watch their daughter being received by the both houses of Parliament with such warmth and kindness. Reaching the age of majority and pledging her allegiance to Constitution means now Leonor can be a Regent while her Father is out of the country. Outside the Congress there was a large crowd to welcome the Royal Family. There were cheers, applauds and best wishes for the family.
“I swear to perform my duties faithfully, to observe and ensure that the Constitution and the laws are kept, to respect the rights of citizens and the autonomous communities and to be faithful to the King“
The Oath ceremony was held as per the article 61.2 of the Spanish Constitution, which states that: “The Crown Prince, upon reaching the age of majority, and the Regent or Regents when they took office, shall take the same oath, as well as that of fidelity to the King.” Leonor will be the first Female Monarch of the Country after Queen Isabella II whose reign ended in 1868. Interestingly the Spanish Crown still follows the ‘Male rimogeniture‘ – means Princess Leonor is only the heir presumptive of the crown and could have been take over by a younger brother in the line of succession.
“The General Courts have just received the oath that Your Highness has given, in compliance with the Constitution, as heir to the Crown. Ladies and gentlemen. Long live the Constitution. Long live the King. Long live Spain“.
The country has been going through political crisis since July this year when the General Elections ended in no party winning the majority and no party was able to obtain the majority confidence by forming any alliance since then. In such situations having a Stable head of the State brings a reassurance. King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain have come out of the waves of the pubic humiliation caused by Felipe’s father King Juan Carlos and brother-in-law with multiple tax crimes, Juan Carlos’ infidelity news and self-exile and much more.
Since 2014, King Felipe and Queen Letizia have ensured the Royal Family does not put a foot wrong and with only 5 working members its hard to do so while giving Felipe much control over how the Crown will represent the country. Their both daughters have demonstrated on various occasions that they understood the responsibilities and privileges that they have due to their birth rights. Leonor has openly accepted the fact in her various speeches that she understands what her role is in the country and she hopes she would be able to step in those shoes and fulfill her duty as per the tradition and constitution.
Leonor received a long standing ovation and applause from the members of the Parliament after her oath. King Felipe and Queen Letizia along with Infanta Sofia watched proudly as Leonor stood accepted the appreciation afforded to her by the members of the Congress and Senate.
The Future Queen of Spain was looking absolutely lovely in a white custom-made suit that she topped with Order of Golden Fleece. King Felipe awarded his elder daughter with the highest order of the Royal Family on her 10th birthday and formally presented it to her on his 50th birthday in 2018.
After the Oath ceremony, The Princess was presented with the Honours of the Congress and the Senate and then the City of Madrid at the Congress. The highest honours of the Spanish Governments.
🏅 Aquí S. A. R. la Princesa de Asturias recibirá el collar de la Real y Distinguida Orden Española de Carlos III.#CarlosIII la fundó para agradecer a la Inmaculada Concepción el nacimiento de Carlos Clemente, su primer nieto varón.
¡Queda muy poco para este histórico momento! pic.twitter.com/tKylF02CRi
— Patrimonio Nacional (@PatrimNacional) October 30, 2023
For last few days we have seen the Plenary hall preparations in full swing before the historical ceremony. The last ceremony where the heir to the Spanish throne pledged allegiance to Spanish Constitution was held on January 30, 1986 when Leonor’s father then then Prince Felipe took the solemn oath.
Decía la Princesa de Asturias en su discurso de la pasada edición de los #PremiosPrincesadeAsturias: “soy consciente de cuál es mi deber y de lo que implican mis responsabilidades”.
Hoy alcanza la mayoría de edad y con tal motivo jurará la Constitución española en el Congreso de… pic.twitter.com/GIeneQPzb6
— Premios Princesa de Asturias (@fpa) October 31, 2023
The next leg of the birthday celebrations was at the Royal Palace.
King Felipe VI presented his heir with the highest Civil honour of Spain, The Order of Charles III/Carlos III. Established by King Carlos III in 1771, the order’s motto is’ Virtuti et mérito’. The order recognizes the people for their actions that benefit Spain and the Crown. The order was established as a gratitude to the God and Virgin Mary for the heirs to Spanish Kingdom.
The order features blue-white silk band with eight-point cross, the motto and image of King Carlos III.
Then The Royal family hosted a luncheon for the guests present at the ceremony. This was the first time when Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia joined their parents at the formal luncheon hosted at the Palace.
The birthday celebrations will be concluded with a family dinner that will be joined by the members of the Royal Family at the Royal Palace.