Heir to the Spanish throne Princess Leonor, 15, will study in Wales

Spain’s future Queen Princess Leonor, 15, is set to begin £67,000 two-year course at 12th-century Welsh castle dubbed the ‘Hippie Hogwarts’ – following in the footsteps of Princess Elisabeth of Belgium

  • Leonor of Spain, 15, is set to attend United World College of the Atlantic in Wales 
  • Counts Elisabeth of Belgium and Netherlands’s King Willem Alexander as alumni
  • Eldest daughter of King Felipe VI of Spain, 15, will one day rule country like dad 
  • She has been increasingly stepping into the spotlight preparing for her next role

Spain’s future Queen Princess Leonor is going to study at a 12th-century Welsh castle dubbed the ‘Hippie Hogwarts’ – following in the footsteps of Princess Elisabeth of Belgium in Wales, the Spanish royal household has announced. 

Leonor de Borbon, 15, the eldest daughter of King Felipe VI, 53, and Queen Letizia, 48, will attend UWC Atlantic College, based at the 12th century St Donat’s Castle on the country’s south coast.

Princess Leonor, who turns 16 at the end of October, will begin her two-year course at the boarding school this summer.

Her parents will personally meet the cost of the £67,000 course.

The most recent royal alumna was Princess Elisabeth of Belgium, 19, the daughter of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, who enrolled in 2018 but had to cut her time at the college short due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and continued her studies online from home. 

The heir to the Spanish throne, 15-year-old Princess Leonor, is going to study in Wales, the Spanish royal household has announced. Pictured, arriving to Alfonso II Square (Cathedral’s Square) for Princesa de Asturias Awards 2019 on October 17, 2019 in Oviedo, Spain

Leonor will study at United World College of the Atlantic School which is located at 12th century St Donat’s Castle in the Vale of Glamorgan (pictured)

Outdoorsy Elisabeth is now following into her father’s footsteps by enrolling at the Royal Military Academy in Brussels, where she is learning about military and social affairs that will help her prepare for her future role as Queen.

The school, for students aged 16 to 19, says it seeks to ‘inspire changemakers’ who want to work for the common good.

It looks for students who ‘can navigate the complexity of life and (reach) beyond easy answers’, the school’s website said.

The royal household statement noted the school’s ‘open and critical approach’. The school says it takes in students from around 150 countries.

Princess Leonor obtained admission to the school anonymously, taking several tests before being accepted, the royal household said.

The United World College Movement includes 18 schools around the world, the website said.

Leonor, who already speaks five languages, has become her illustrious father ‘hand-right girl,’ taking to her royal duties with ‘enormous eagerness,’ according to Felipe. 

Having grown up in the spotlight since her father inherited the throne from King Juan Carlos in 2014, she’s learned to keep calm under pressure and has already adopted the polished style of her royal mother, Queen Letizia.   

Princess Elisabeth of Belgium (pictured) enrolled in 2018 but had to cut her time at the college short due to the coronavirus crisis, and continued her studies online from home

Princess Elisabeth, 16, will study at United World College of the Atlantic School which is located at 12th century St Donat’s Castle in the Vale of Glamorgan (pictured)

Just like her father, who first spoke publicly as a young prince in 1981, she made her first public speech at just 13 at an event marking the 40th anniversary of the Spanish constitution in 2018.

Leonor will study a selection of subjects including core classes such as Biology, Chemistry, Economics, English Literature, Geography, History, Mathematics and Physics. 

She’ll also have a wide selection of optional courses to choose from, including Design Tech, Visual Arts, Film studies, Music and Global Politics among others.

Keen Linguist Leonor, who delivered an impressive four-language speech in 2019 at an event in Barcelona in 2019 in her second official outing, will also be able to study foreign languages and literature at leisure.

The College’s literary options range from English and French Literature to Czech, Russian, Tibetan, Swedish and Urdu Literature as well.  

A stay at the College of the Atlantic will also help Leonor make international friends and learn of different cultures, as per the institution’s motto of promoting ‘mutual understanding’ among their 350 pupils.    

Dubbed the ‘Hippie Hogwarts,’ the boarding school counts The Queen and Queen Noor of Jordan as its current co-presidents and encourages international cooperation from students of all background. 

King Felipe VI, 53, and Queen Letizia, 48, will personally meet the cost of the £67,000 course. Pictured, attending the delivery of the ‘APM Journalism Awards 2019 and 2020’

In 2018, The Times reported that pupils were discouraged from showcasing their wealth with expensive gadgets, and were as likely to rub shoulders with ‘refugees from west Africa’ and ‘California hippies.’ 

Founded in 1962 by German educationalist Kurt Hahn, he believed his approach to education, for pupils aged 16-19, could lead to a quicker resolution of international conflict, an ethos that is still carried by the establishment which aims to ‘promote mutual understanding’. 

It has also seen a growing list of international royals sitting on the benches of St Donat’s Castle over the years. 

King Willem-Alexander, the King of the Netherlands, studied at the College from 1983 to 1985 and graduated with an International Baccalaureate before undertaking his military service and moving on to study History at Leiden University from 1987 onwards. 

Princess Raiyah of Jordan, the daughter of King Hussein of Jordan and Queen Noor also attended her institution as a teen before studying Japanese as an undergraduate at The University of Edinburgh.   

King Felip VI also attended an international high school as a teen, though he went to the Lakefield College School in Canada rather than Wales. He then returned to Spain to study law at the Autonomous University of Madrid.  

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