Princess Leonor of Spain: 'I understand my duty'

Princess Leonor of Spain says she ‘understands her duty’ in a speech ahead of her 18th birthday as she prepares to one day become Queen

  • The Spanish heir to the throne spoke at the Princesa de Asturias Awards
  • READ MORE: Princess Leonor of Spain is shaping up as monarch-in-waiting ahead of her 18th birthday – with solo engagements, speeches and military training already under her belt 

Princess Leonor has told the Spanish public she understands her duty in an impressive speech delivered this weekend.

The heir to the throne, 17, addressed an audience at the Princesa de Asturias Awards in Oviedo, Spain on Friday evening, where she assured them she takes her responsibility very seriously. 

The eldest daughter of King Felipe and Queen Letizia was addressing the crowd just days before she is due to celebrate her 18th birthday, on 31 October. Her speech also came after she has begun military training at the General Military Academy in Zaragoza.

Speaking to the crowd, with her parents, 16-year-old sister Infanta Sofia and other family members watching on, she said it will be an ‘honour’ to swear in the Spanish Constitution on her 18th birthday at the end of this month.

The queen-in-waiting added: ‘I very well understand and am aware of what my duty is and what my responsibilities entail.’

Princess Leonor told an audience at the Princesa de Asturias Awards, held in her name, that she ‘understands her duty’

Elsewhere in her speech, the Spanish princess went on to praise the Princesa de Asturias Award winners, Hola reports.

In particular, she noted the career achievements of three-time Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep, who was honoured at the ceremony.

Leonor said she aspires to identify with the award winners, despite many of them being decades older than her, because of the incredible things they have achieved.

The Princesa de Asturias Awards takes place every year in the Spanish principality of Asturias. The ceremony recognises people for their outstanding work in science, public affairs, media and humanities.

The Spanish heir to the throne has recently begun three years of military training at the General Military Academy in Zaragoza

This year’s most notable recipient was Hollywood royalty Streep, who was honoured for her contribution to film during her sensational career.

Although Princess Leonor has addressed the awards held in her name three times previously, her most recent address marks a shift towards greater responsibility for the future Spanish monarch.

The royal and her sister Infanta Sophia, 16, have been taking a bigger role in the spotlight as they come of age – with Leonor often taking centre stage at family outings.

Unlike Prince Christian of Denmark – who is just two weeks older than Leonor and also a future European monarch – the Princess’s 18th birthday celebrations will be decidedly low-key.

There will be some fanfare however, the Royal Mint of Spain will create a limited edition 40-euro coin to mark her birthday. Up to one million of the coins will be put into circulation by the Bank of Spain during the last three months of this year.

The coin will weigh 18 grams and be made of a mixture of silver and copper with the effigy ‘Her Royal Highness the Princess of Asturias’ engraved on it.

The 17-year-old is currently undergoing military training at the General Military Academy in Zaragoza.

The school dubbed Spain’s equivalent to Sandhurst and follows a strict timetable, but the princess is able to return home at the weekends if she is not on manoeuvres.

Before starting at the academy, she took place in her first engagement without her parents as she headed to Gironda with sister Sofia.

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