SPAIN’S PRINCESS LEONOR REFLECTS ON HER FIRST YEAR OF MILITARY TRAINING

The Spanish Princess received the title of "Adoptive Daughter of Zaragoza" on May 21, 2024©Getty Images

The Spanish Princess received the title of “Adoptive Daughter of Zaragoza” on May 21, 2024

In a speech at the Medal of Aragon award ceremony, the future Queen of Spain reflected on her first year of military training. “I confess that when I arrived in Zaragoza on August 17, I came with many expectations, partly because of everything my father had told me, although I also knew that some stages would not be easy,” she admitted (translated to English). “I arrived at the General Military Academy with enthusiasm and a great desire to learn and get to know both my classmates and the other classes with whom I have shared this year.”

“I can tell you that what I have experienced here far exceeds what I thought ten months ago,” the Princess continued. “In Zaragoza, in Aragon, I have felt at home, welcomed and accompanied in a land that will always be part of my life. There are only five weeks left until I leave, so I can receive my ensign’s office, and I’m already starting to miss you!!”

The Princess of Asturias was also presented with the Medal of the Cortes and the Medal of Aragon©Getty Images

The Princess of Asturias was also presented with the Medal of the Cortes and the Medal of Aragon

Leonor noted that “discovering the academic and intellectual, physical and technical demands” has made her appreciate the Army and Armed Forces “even more.” She said, “Here I have met young people of my generation and I have lived with them. I assure you that what we experience while we train at the Academy unites us forever and makes us mature and grow thanks to the camaraderie, the guidance of managers and teachers and all the people at the Academy who encourage us to continue advancing and improving.”

“Here we have sworn the flag, here we have overcome moments that required effort and great teamwork, here we have enjoyed and suffered together and, above all, here we have learned a lot,” Leonor added. “In these months I have felt the respect and kindness of the Aragonese people who, in addition, are accompanying me on this morning that is so important to me.”

 

The Princess admitted that she is “very grateful” for what she has experienced during her time and for everything the “city has given” her. Leonor dubbed the day a “special” one because “the affection of many people of this land is reflected in the recognitions with which you distinguish me: the title of adopted daughter of Zaragoza, the Medal of the Cortes and the Medal of Aragon.” King Felipe received the three distinctions back in 1986, per Casa de S.M. el Rey. “My father experienced it in a similar way almost 40 years ago and these days we have talked a lot about it,” the Princess said in her remarks. “Following in his footsteps means a lot to me.”

Leonor arrived at the General Military Academy in Zaragoza last August to begin her three-year military training. Casa de S.M. el Rey has previously announced that the Princess’ 2024-2025 academic year “will take place in the Navy and will be carried out with the employment of a Midshipman both at the Marín Naval Military School, and on board the Juan Sebastián de Elcano Training Ship, during its training trip.”

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