Princess Leonor, Spain’s future Queen, swears constitutional oath on 18th birthday

Princess Leonor, the heir to the Spanish throne, swore allegiance to Spain’s Constitution on her 18th birthday on Tuesday in a solemn ceremony held at the country’s Parliament.

In a televised ceremony accompanied by her parents, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, and her younger sister, Infanta Sofía, Spain’s future queen took the oath of allegiance to the country’s Constitution and swore loyalty to the king.

The royal family arrived at the Congress of Deputies after traveling from their residence, the Zarzuela Palace, in the center of Madrid, in vintage Rolls Royce cars escorted by the Royal Guard.

They were received by the acting Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, and observed the national anthem.

The royal family was greeted with a round of applause upon entering the Congress of Deputies.

The president of the lower chamber of parliament, Francina Armengol, described the act as “historic” and said the princess was a “worthy representative of a modern country open to the world”.

Leonor de Borbón swore the same oath as her father did in 1986, pledging “to faithfully perform my duties, to keep and uphold the Constitution and the laws and respect the rights of citizens and the autonomous communities and loyalty to the King”.

After taking the oath under article 61 of the Spanish Constitution, the princess was given an almost four minute-long standing ovation in the chamber.

The symbolic ceremony concluded with a military parade held by personnel from the Army, the Navy, the Air and the Civil Guard outside Parliament.

Having reached adulthood and been sworn in, the eldest daughter of Felipe VI could now exercise royal functions automatically and immediately if her father were to be disqualified, without the need for a regency.

Felipe VI’s father and Leonor’s grandfather, former King Juan Carlos I, who abdicated in 2014 and lives in self-imposed exile from Spain, and former Queen Sofia, did not attend the ceremony.

Later on Tuesday, a reception will be held at the Royal Palace in Madrid, in which the heir to the throne of Spain will give a speech, before a family celebration at El Pardo palace that her grandparents are expected to attend. 

By Nadeem Faisal Baiga