Princess Leonor of Spain to Start 3-Year Military Training

Crown Princess Leonor of Spain will begin three years of military training later this year. The Royal Household of Spain announced in a press release Tuesday that Leonor, 17, will report for her military training after she finishes her two-year high school course at UWC Atlantic College in Wales, where she is studying for an International Baccalaureate alongside Princess Alexia of the Netherlands, 17. Leonor, who is also known as Her Royal Highness the Princess of Asturias and is the oldest of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia's two daughters, is first in the line to the Bourbon throne.

Leonor will begin her training in August, the Spanish government has announced. Her first year of training will take place at the Army Military Academy in Zaragoza. She will then train at a naval school before finishing her military training at the General Air Academy in Santiago de la Ribera, 280 miles southeast of Madrid. Once she finishes her military training, Leonor will have the rank of ensign in the navy as well as lieutenant in the army, and air force and space command. She will then have the option to enroll at university.

"In the Cabinet Meeting today, we have approved a royal decree whose aim is to give structure to the military training and career of (Princess Leonor)," Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles confirmed at a press conference Tuesday, per CNN. "It shows that we will have, when the time comes, a supreme commander who is a woman. And in recent years, we've made a big effort to incorporate women into the armed forces."

The start of her military training marks a major step towards the teen's future as Queen. When she ascends the throne – either when her father steps down from his position or dies – she will become supreme commander of Spain's armed forces. Robles noted this during the press conference, stating, "that an heir "has to have a military background and a military career" throughout "all parliamentary monarchies... It's an essential step in the life of Her Royal Highness ... toward the leadership of our country."

Leonor will follow in the footsteps of her father, who after graduating from high school at Lakefield College in Canada, per the Daily Mail, returned to Spain and attended the General Military Academy of Zaragozo. He then went on to study at the Naval Military School in Marín before ending his training with a stint at the General Air Academy in San Javier. He later studied law at the Autonomous University of Madrid.