The heir to the Spanish throne has made her first official appearance in the principality from which she takes her title. Holding hands with her father, King Felipe VI, Princess Leonor greeted the crowds that had turned out to see her debut engagement in Asturias, the principality always held by the Spanish heir. And the thirteen year old royal’s debut had an extra special significance as it took place in Oviedo, the home city of her mother, Queen Letizia.
Leonor arrived with her parents and her younger sister, Infanta Sofia, on Thursday afternoon at the start of a busy three days which will see her preside over the Princess of Asturias Awards for the first time. Ahead of that ceremony, which takes place on Friday, Leonor and her family were officially welcomed to her principality by local leaders and dignitaries.
The royals then met many of the wellwishers who had turned out to see this special royal debut before heading to Oviedo Cathedral. Leonor saw a plaque commemorating her father’s visit to the same place in 1988 and was then shown the Victory Cross, given to the Cathedral in the 9th century by King Alfonso III of Asturias.
Leonor then carried out a royal duty that she will repeat thousands of times, signing her name into the Book of Honour at the Cathedral. As she and her family left, the choir of the Princess of Asturias Foundation performed the National Hymn of Asturias.
Later in the day, King Felipe and Queen Letizia were guests of honour at the annual Princess of Asturias Prize concert which traditionally takes place on the eve of the main awards themselves.
Princess Leonor will oversee the Awards ceremony on Friday 18th October, the first time she has attended. Among the recipients this year are Peter Brook who will be given the Award for Arts and Lindsey Vonn who is this year’s Sports Laureate.
Royal Central will bring you full coverage of the Princess of Asturias Awards as they happen.