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The future Queen of Spain is joining UWC Atlantic College in September, following in the royal footsteps of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Crown Princess Elisabeth of Belgium

By Phil Boucher
February 11, 2021 02:55 PM
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Princess Leonor
Credit: Casa de S.M. el Rey Spanish Royal Household via Getty

Princess Leonor of Asturias, the future Queen of Spain, is starting school in Wales.

The 15-year-daughter of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia will join UWC Atlantic College in September 2021, following in the royal footsteps of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, Princess Raiyah of Jordan and Crown Princess Elisabeth of Belgium, who started at the college in 2018.

"Her Royal Highness the Princess of Asturias will study the International Baccalaureate program," says a statement released Wednesday by the Spanish royal family, who adds that Leonor has already passed the school's anonymous selection process. Her $92,000 school fees will be paid directly by King Felipe from his annual allowance.

Princess Leonor
Princess Leonor
| Credit: Splash

"Princess Leonor will reside, like the rest of the students, in the boarding school that the UWC Atlantic College has established within its campus," the statement continues, adding that she "will make this period of her education compatible with the progressive development of her institutional commitments in Spain."

Founded in 1962 by German educationalist Kurt Hahn, UWC is centered around the 800-year-old St Donat's Castle in the beautiful Vale of Glamorgan, around 170 miles west of London.

Within its 122-acres of landscaped gardens, woodlands and Irish Sea shoreline, Leonor will enjoy a unique form of learning based around internationalism, physical challenges, community service, and personal empowerment.

Spanish Royals
The Spanish royal family

Leonor will also mix with an intake of 360 students drawn from a huge variety of cultures and economic positions.

"UWC schools bring together a deliberately diverse group of 16-19-year-olds from more than 155 countries and all backgrounds, from refugees to royalty," says a release from the college, whose current president is Queen Noor of Jordan.

Previous presidents include Nelson Mandela, Prince Charles, and Lord Louis Mountbatten — recently played by Charles Dance in Season 4 of The Crown.  

"No matter where they come from, our highly selective application and interview process identifies students that combine a high level of intellectual curiosity with an active commitment to tackling the issues they see around themselves," adds the UWC release.

UWC school
UWC Atlantic College
| Credit: UWC Atlantic College

"These students bring with them their experiences from a variety of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, making UWC campuses a hive of ideas and cultural exchanges that stay with them for the rest of their lives."

The move to Wales marks another important milestone in Princess Leonor's royal life. The teen princess gave her first public address two years ago on her 13th birthday, reading the first article of the Constitution of Spain at the Instituto Cervantes in Madrid.

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Last November, she also delivered an important speech at the Princess of Girona Foundation awards in Barcelona amid a backdrop of anti-royal protests.

This came just weeks after another major speech, where she pledged her ongoing service to her country, to "serve Spain and all Spaniards with dedication and effort," with her father proudly by her side at both events.

In September, both Leonor and her sister Sofia, 13, had to quarantine after a classmate at their school tested positive for coronavirus. Both of their results came back negative.