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All eyes on Princess Leonor as milestone birthday approaches

October will be a busy month for Spain’s future queen. Amid her military training, the Princess of Asturias will celebrate her 18th birthday with a host of ceremonial and constitutional events to mark the occasion.

Princess Leonor, who turns 18 on 31 October, will swear an oath to the Spanish Constitution on her birthdate in a ceremony before the Cortes Generales involving both the Congress and the Senate.

Afterwards, the young royal will enjoy a luncheon at the Royal Palace of Madrid with guests from the government accompanying her. King Felipe will invest his heir with the Collar of the Order of Charles III to mark her birthday, and in the evening, King Felipe and Queen Letizia will host a private dinner at El Pardo Palace.

The Order of Charles III was established in 1771 and is traditionally given to political figures, heads of state and other government officials. The Collar of the Order of Charles III is restricted to 25 people, not including any members of the Spanish Royal Family who also hold the rank.

This will be the second honour Princess Leonor has received from her father. Ahead of her tenth birthday in 2015, she became the 1,201st Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

Compared to the other young heirs in Europe, Princess Leonor’s 18th birthday will be a more low-key, more state-specific event than birthday galas, televised interviews and palace-sanctioned biographies.

Prince Christian of Denmark turns 18 two weeks before Princess Leonor, and his birthday will be marked by a gala dinner and a session of the Council of State where he will swear his oath to Denmark.

As of 31 October, Princess Leonor will be able to take over for her father should he be unable to carry out his duties without a regent appointed for her.

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About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.