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Princess of Asturias attends first official events in Asturias as heir

Leonor, Princess of Asturias, made her first official trip to the Principality of Asturias in Spain as heir to the Spanish throne.

The 12-year-old future Queen of Spain was joined by her parents, King Felipe and Queen Letizia and her younger sister, 11-year-old Infanta Sofía at events to mark the XIII Centenary of the Kingdom of Asturias and 100 years of Pico de Europe National Park.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The day began with the Spanish Royal Family visiting the Santa Cueva de Covadonga (Holy Cave of Covadonga), which is the burial site for several royals of the Kingdom of Asturias. They walked through the cave through the excavation site in the mountain and listened as the Archbishop of Oviedo, Jesús Sanz gave a reading. The Archbishop then gave Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofía with medals of the Virgin of Covadonga.

Their Majesties and Their Royal Highnesses also stopped at the burial mound of Don Pelayo before attending a Solemn Eucharist at the Basilica of Santa María la Real de Covadonga after which they each signed the book of honour.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Next, the family listened to the Anthem of Asturias in front of the statue of Don Pelayo and went to the Capitular House where they were received by the President of the Principality of Asturias, Javier Fernández who presented Leonor and Sofía with gifts. The King and Queen and their daughters then took a tour of the exhibitions including the photographic exhibit “Covadonga real y mística.”

The Director of Institutional Relations of the National Factory of Currency and Timbre-Real Casa de la Moneda, Rafael Feria also showed the royals the commemorative coin of the 1300th anniversary of the Kingdom of Asturias, its sketches and the history of its manufacture.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

In the afternoon, King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor, and Infanta Sofía travelled to the National Park of Picos de Europa’s Lake Enol where they were received by various dignitaries. The National Park is celebrating is 100th anniversary, and the royals spoke to scouts, children and young mountaineers before accompanying them to Mirador de la Princesa to hear explanations of the descriptive panel by Guillermo Martínez (Minister of the Presidency of the Principality of Asturias and coordinator of the acts on the occasion of the centenaries) and Rodrigo Suárez (the Director of the Picos de Europa National Park). A commemorative plaque of the Mirador de la Princesa is currently on exhibit.

The royals greeted the various people on their hike back down from the viewpoint in the National Park with one young baby girl taking to Princess Leonor who happily picked her up and held her for a few moments while Queen Letizia and King Felipe smiled and looked on.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The busy day ended with the Mayor of Cangas de Onis, José Manuel González showing Their Royal Highnesses the gift of the council – a mare native of the Asturian race, Xana who is to live and breed in the park.

This weekend is the last few days of Leonor and Sofía’s summer holidays as most Spanish children go back to school this next week.

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