MADRID.- Sofía de Borbón Ortiz, the youngest daughter of Kings Felipe VI and Letizia, turns 15 this Fridayan age that in many cultures marks the final frontier of childhood. He will go to class like any other day and celebrate his birthday privately. But it will be the first time he does it without his sister Leonor, who returned last Sunday to UWC Atlantic Collegeboarding school in Wales where he took the international baccalaureate.
The two daughters of Felipe VI and Queen Letizia have been very close since childhood. More than friends, they are accomplices, according to those who have treated them closely. Leonor, more thoughtful, has always protected her little sister, spontaneous and restless; while Sofía supported her when she had to assume her first responsibilities as an heiress: the ceremony during which she received the Golden Fleece, in January 2018, or her first speech, during the handover ceremony Princess of Asturias Awards in October 2019 in Oviedo. Both practice horse riding and skiing, although Sofía is more athletic and her sister is more of a music lover. One is from Real Madrid (the youngest) and another is from Atlético de Madrid (the oldest), but that doesn’t seem like a reason to fight.
For years it was easy to confuse them. Fair-haired and cheerful, of a similar height, they shared school – the Santa María de los Rosales, in Aravaca (Madrid), a mixed private center where their father, Felipe VI, also studied – and summer camps in United States. Sitting next to each other, they took part in the choral reading of Don Quixote in April 2020, which was held virtually due to the pandemic. And on July 14, for the first time without their parents, they traveled to Hayedo de Montejo, Madrid, to participate in European Environment Daywith thirty young people of 11 different nationalities, and plant half a dozen trees.
But the paths of the two sisters began to fork. And not just because Leonor went to study abroad; while Sofia is in third year of ESO at regular school. To the extent that The date when the Princess of Asturias will turn 18 is approaching, October 31, 2023, and she will swear the Constitution before the Cortes, the King’s Household has accentuated the preponderant role which corresponds to it as heiress to the throne. Before returning to Wales last Sunday, the Princess of Asturias visited a secondary education institute in the Madrid town of Leganés on April 20 to attend cybersecurity talks for teens. Was his second solo act, after the visit he made in March 2021 to the Cervantes Instituteon the occasion of the institution’s 30th anniversary.
Taking advantage of Leonor’s vacation, the two sisters went with their parents, on the 16th, to a reception center for Ukrainian refugees in Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madridbut all the cameras focused on the Princess of Asturias, who wore a shirt with traditional Ukrainian embroidery, as her mother had done at the start of the invasion, while the Infanta Sofía was in the background .
Sofía is named after her paternal grandmother, Queen Sofía of Greece, although her godmother is her maternal grandmother, Paloma Rocasolano.. To be the firstborn marks anyone’s life, but in the royal family it means to be or not to be. If Sofía had been born male, it would have generated a constitutional conflict, since the Magna Carta grants primacy to men in the order of succession, despite the prohibition of any form of discrimination based on sex.
To be born a woman a year and a half after her sister relegated her to the status of an infantalthough her parents raised her in the idea that the Crown her sister will inherit is not a privilege, but rather an servitude that she must help her overcome. Raised in a family that suffered painful breakups —the estrangement of her aunts, the departure of her grandfather, whom she has not seen in person for 21 months—she will surely strive to heal the strong ties that unite her to her sister.
Sofia will not be educated to rule. You won’t have to receive military training like Leonor, future captain general of the three armies. The kings want him to have a profession and to be able to enjoy economic independence in the future. But don’t forget that she is second in line and could one day ascend to the throne due to the death, incapacity or resignation of her sister.. This is the destiny of an infanta: to prepare for a day she fervently wishes never to come.
The Country, SL