The heir to the Spanish throne, Princess Leonor, has taken on her first solo royal duty by overseeing anniversary celebrations for an important Spanish cultural institution.
The Princess of Asturias, who is 15, visited the Cervantes Institute in Madrid to donate a copy of her first ever public address to its vaults. It came as the Institute marked its thirtieth anniversary.
The princess was greeted by crowds chanting her name and cheering as she arrived at her first solitary engagement with some holding banners in support of the Spanish monarchy and a balloon reading ”we love Leonor”. She was met by the Deputy President of the Government, Carmen Calvo, and the Director of the Cervantes Institute, Luis García Montero.
Princess Leonor looked calm and confident as she walked over to wave at those waiting to see her as well as to acknowledge the photographers. She greeted her hosts with the hand on heart gesture used by her parents over the past year as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
Once inside, the princess was given a tour of the Institute which was set up in 1991 to promote and support Spanish language and culture. As part of its mission, it has a vault where many writers and public figures have deposited books and manuscripts to make up a time capsule. The future queen was given box number 2021 for her choices.
Leonor handed over the copy of the Spanish Constitution from which she read on October 31st 2018 as she made her first public address. She also left the copy of ‘Don Quixote’ that she and her sister, Infanta Leonor, read from in April 2020 as they took part in a video message during the pandemic.
The princess’ visit also included an overview of the ongoing work to digitalise the Institute’s works and began the question and answer session that followed a presentation. She was also shown some of the historic items held at the Institute. Wellwishers cheered her on her departure from the Institute after an engagement which lasted close to an hour.
Princess Leonor has been heir to the throne since the accession of her father as King Felipe VI in June 2014. In the autumn of 2021, she will move to Wales to complete her secondary education at UWC Atlantic College.