While most other 13-year-olds' Wednesday plans likely revolved around donning creepy masks and scavenging for as much candy as their pillowcases could possibly hold, Princess Leonor of Spain celebrated the day in a slightly more dignified way. Not only did October 31 mark the young royal's 13th birthday, but it was also the 40th anniversary of the ratification of her motherland's current constitution, and she rang in both milestones by delivering her first-ever public address.
At an official event marking the Carta Magna's big day at the Cervantes Institute in Madrid, Leonor stepped up to the podium to read the first of the document's 169 articles, according to the Associated Press. She was introduced by her father, King Felipe VI, who warmed up the crowd for her by reciting the constitution's preamble. After handing over the mic to his eldest daughter, Felipe remained by her side as she read out Article I in a "firm voice," per the AP. Though Leonor's first speech to her family's loyal subjects wasn't exactly a juicy one—Article I simply cements Spain's status as a "social and democratic state," organized into a parliamentary monarchy—it was still a big moment for the newly minted teenager and her father, who reportedly also made his own initial foray into royal speechmaking at the age of 13, in 1981.
Leonor, whose long list of titles includes Princess of Asturias, Princess of Girona, Princess of Viana, Duchess of Montblanc, Countess of Cervera, and Lady of Balaguer, is currently next in line to the throne after her father. If and when she assumes the throne, she'll be Spain's first queen regnant in more than a century; the last female member of the royal bloodline to rule the nation was Queen Isabella II, who ruled for several decades in the mid-19th century. Leonor is already well on her way to being throne-ready: Wednesday's address came only a few months after she was awarded the Order of the Golden Fleece, one of Spain's most prestigious honors. "Today, Leonor, you are taking a very important and symbolic step towards your future role," her father said at the January ceremony. "I know it may seem like you have lots of challenges and responsibilities to face, all important and difficult, but know that you have the support of many people who want the best for Spain, for the crown, and for you."
It's probably for the best that the Spanish royal family is seemingly shifting the world's attention to its next generations, since most global headlines concerning the elder royals haven't been particularly flattering. Back in 2014, Leonor's grandfather, King Juan Carlos I, abdicated the throne after a tumultuous, scandal-marred reign. And earlier this year, footage surfaced of what appeared to be a family quarrel between Leonor's mom, Queen Letizia, and grandmother, Queen Sofía, outside Mallorca's Palma Cathedral on Easter Sunday. Leonor and her younger sister Sofía, however, have so far steered clear of any scandal, opting instead to live relatively normal tween lives.
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