Royal heartbreak as family bid emotional farewell to princess ahead of important move

Queen Letizia of Spain sports summer dress for royal visit

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The face masks worn by the Spanish royals did not conceal their emotions as King Felipe, 53, Queen Letizia, 48, and Infanta Sofia, 14, waved off the heir to the throne Princess Leonor. The 15-year-old has moved to the UK to attend for the next two years her International Baccalaureate at the UWC Atlantic College in Llantwit Major, Wales.

The teenager and future Queen said goodbye to her family at Adolfo Suarez Barajas Airport in Madrid.

The four Spanish royals wore casual outfits for the trip to the airport, where Leonor was photographed saying goodbye to her parents and sister goodbye.

Leonor, who left Spain for Wales yesterday, was seen hugging tightly her sister and mother.

She also embraced her father before exchanging what appeared to be a smile under their face coverings.

The teenager took with her through the departure gate three pieces of luggage, including a carry-on suitcase, a backpack and a leather satchel.

She also appeared to be prepared for the British weather, as she carried on her arm an olive jacket to wear on top of her striped T-shirt.

While she was going through the gates, her family was photographed still waving to her.

Leonor received her COVID-19 vaccination during the summer, which means she did not need to self-isolate following her arrival in the UK.

During her stay at the college, the princess will live in one of the houses scattered around the campus and will share a room with three other female students of different nationalities.

Peter Howe, the college’s former principal, revealed last February each student has in their room a bed, a wardrobe and a chest of drawers.

Pupils are expected to wash their clothes and take care of their rooms.

They also have their meals together at shared tables in the canteen.

The college’s aim is “to promote international understanding through education.”

Princess Leonor, who will turn 16 on October 31, is expected to regularly return to Spain and carry out her institutional duties whenever possible.

Last month, Leonor and Sofia attended their first-ever joint royal engagement without King Felipe and Queen Letizia in attendance.

The sisters planted trees in Hayedo de Montejo in Madrid alongside other teenagers taking part in the initiative ‘A tree for Europe’, which aimed at raise awareness on climate change and how to fight it.

Princess Leonor won’t be the only royal in attendance at the Welsh college.

Princess Alexia, 16, the second daughter of Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander, also left yesterday to begin her two-year-long course at the UWC college.

On Monday, she was photographed carrying two heavy-looking bags outside of her royal residence.

The picture, shared on the family’s official Instagram account, was taken by her father the King.

King Willem-Alexander himself attended the Welsh college, as did another European monarch – King Philippe of Belgium.

Moreover, Belgium’s future Queen, Princess Elisabeth, graduated from this college in May 2020.

This prestigious school was founded in 1962 by Kurt Hahn, who had previously created Gordonstoun – the Scottish boarding school attended by Prince Philip, Prince Charles and other members of the British Royal Family.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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