Princess Leonor, heir to the throne of Spain, has asked her country to trust her as she marked her coming of age with an impressive speech.
The Princess of Asturias spoke powerfully at a reception at the Royal Palace in Madrid which followed a series of historic events.
After her solemn swearing of allegiance to the Constitution in front of a joint session of Parliament, which garnered her a 5-minute standing ovation, the Princess was awarded the Congress and Senate medals. Then, with her parents, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, and her sister, Infanta Sofia, she made her way back through cheering crowds to the Palace. Members of the political establishment joined them to see the heir to the throne receive the collar of the order of Carlos III.
The honour is conceded upon the instructions of the Government, even though the Monarch is the Chief of the Order – which is why, when it came time, incumbent Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez passed the collar to King Felipe, whom, in turn, was the one to secure it on Princess Leonor’s shoulders, with the help of one of the military personnel in the Royal Household.
After she received her collar, Princess Leonor was called to offer a few words, and her speech was widely praised for the sense of duty, responsibility and maturity is demonstrated.
The Princess of Asturias said in part: “I have solemnly, formally and publicly committed myself to our democratic principles and our constitutional values, which I fully assume. And I have incurred a great responsibility with Spain before the Cortes Generales, which I hope to correspond with the greatest dignity and with the best example”.
She continued, sharing the memory of the speech King Felipe gave when she received the collar of the Golden Fleece in 2018. She said: “I remember very well what my father, the King, told me when he imposed the Golden Fleece on me: “You will be permanently guided by the Constitution, complying with it and observing it, you will serve Spain with humility and aware of your institutional position.” These are words that I will keep in mind at all times”.
She went on to pledge to do her best for Spain, saying that she “will observe a behaviour that deserves the recognition and appreciation of citizens” and that she “will fulfill my obligations with total and unconditional dedication”.
She concluded: “On this important day – which I will always remember with emotion – I ask you to trust me, as I have all my trust in our future, in the future of Spain”.
After posing for a few pictures, both with just her family, and also with the most important political figures (the Presidents of the Congress, the Senate, the Government and the Constitutional Court), this portion of the event was concluded, and the family and their guests moved to the Gala Dining Hall for the luncheon, during which it was King Felipe’s turn to offer a few words to his daughter.
A more private celebration is expected to take place in the late afternoon and evening at the Pardo Palace; it is expected that King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía, as well as Jesús Ortíz and Paloma Rocasolano will be in attendance; RTVE reports that Infantas Elena and Cristina will also be present, and that King Juan Carlos has only traveled to Madrid for the day, and is expected to be back in Abu Dhabi in the evening.