Despite the rapid changes brought about by today’s era, some things never change. In the case of the heirs of European monarchies, this applies to their military training. It does not matter what the particular circumstances of each one are, passing through the Army is an inevitable instance because in the future they can become the heads of their Armed Forces.
Princess Leonor of Spain, who will turn eighteen in October and will be of legal age, will begin her military training as heir to the throne a month before, which will take place over three years with her passing through the academies of the three Armies (Earth, Navy and Air and Space) before going to college.
Leonor de Borbón will complete her baccalaureate in a few months, which has consisted of two annual courses at the UWC Atlantic College in Wales (United Kingdom).
Princess Leonor (left), seen here with her sister Sofía, will have to undergo three years of military training in Spain. Photo: AP
The princess’s military training will begin at the General Academy of Zaragoza, where she will take two courses in one year, in addition to swearing in the flag.
After his stay in the Army, he will join the Naval School of Marín, in Pontevedra, for the second year, and will embark as a midshipman on the training ship Juan Sebastián Elcano. The following year he will complete the course at the General Air and Space Academy in San Javier (Murcia), where he is expected to learn to fly combat aircraft.
In the case of Prince William, King Charles III’s eldest son, he underwent an intensive two-year training program that included work with government departments, private classes by constitutional experts, and attendance at conferences with prominent figures.
In addition, in the United Kingdom it is also a tradition within the British royal family that the heir to the crown or the sons of the king receive military training, although they do not necessarily have to come from the Royal Air Force RAF, the British Navy or the Army of Earth.
Prince Harry, during his time in Afghanistan with the British Army. Photo: AP
Specifically, Prince William trained as an RAF helicopter pilot and spent two years working 20-hour weeks as an ambulance pilot in the air emergency service at East Anglian Air Ambulance.
In the Scandinavian royal houses there are no specific rules on how the heirs to the throne should be educated, although it is usual for them to receive some type of military training.
In Norway, Princess Ingrid Alexandra – second in line of succession after her father, the heir Haakon – began her primary studies in 2010 at the Jansløkka school, although between 2014 and 2019 she went to the Oslo International School, a private institution, a decision that drew criticism in Norway. In a few months she will finish high school at a public high school in Elvebakken.
The eldest daughter of princes Haakon and Mette-Marit has not made a decision about her future.
“I have to do military service like the rest, but nowhere in the Constitution does it say that I need military training, so if I choose to do it, it will not be because of my role,” he said a few months ago.
The Norwegian royal family celebrating the 80th birthday of the King and Queen. Photo: AP
In Denmark, Prince Christian of Denmark, who will come of age in October, attended primary school at the Tranegårdskole public school and in August 2021 began his baccalaureate at the Herlufsholm boarding school, where he only attended one year when the center was involved in a bullying controversy.
Since August 2022, he has been studying at the public institute in Ordrup, north of Copenhagen, where he is expected to finish his studies in June 2024. Plans for his future have not been made public.
Princess Estela of Sweden, who recently turned eleven years old, started primary school in 2018 at the Campus Manilla public school.
His mother once received basic military training at the Swedish Armed Forces International Center and also completed various courses at the Higher National Defense Academy.
The current monarch, Carl XVI Gustaf, did his military training in the Swedish Navy when he was heir to the throne and was also later in the Land and Air armies, acquiring the rank of second lieutenant in all three corps.
Princess Elizabeth, heiress in Belgium, is studying History and Politics at the age of 21 at Lincoln College at the University of Oxford.
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium. Photo: EFE
In 2020 he obtained his International Baccalaureate at UWC Atlantic College in Wales, while in July 2021 he completed his year of studies in Social and Military Sciences at the Royal Belgian Military Academy.
At the age of 18, she entered that institution and was the first woman from the Belgian royal family to do so, since previously attending this school was only for men. The initial phase and the winter camp took place at the military barracks in Eselnborn (eastern Belgium).
The last stage of the academic year consisted of a three-day course at the Commando Training Center in Marche-les-Dames (southern Belgium), in which the daughter of kings Philippe and Matilda had to work in an environment ” unusual”, to exceed “its limits” and show “courage, audacity and commitment”, it was said at the time.
When she accedes to the throne, she will become the first woman to assume the Headship of State in the country, unlike the previous queens, who had exercised consorts.
In 2022, Princess Amalia of the Netherlands was introduced to the Armed Forces upon turning 18 and officially becoming heir to the throne.
The young woman visited the air, naval and land forces to familiarize herself with their material, the training, get closer to the battalions and speak with the military and employees involved.
Princess Amalia of the Netherlands with her father, King Willem Alexander. Photo: AFP
It is not yet clear if he will receive military training, but the Dutch armed forces and the royal family have had a special historical bond since the time of William of Orange in the 16th century.
At the moment, the young Dutch woman has been studying Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics at the University of Amsterdam since September, and is still having a very difficult time after having seen her security strengthened and her freedom of movement limited due to threats received from crime organized, by her own admission last month.
In the Principality of Monaco, the current sovereign, Albert II, underwent military training in the French Navy aboard the “Jeanne DArc” helicopter carrier.
According to what official sources from the Principality explained to EFE, military education is not compulsory among the leaders of Monaco.
Regarding the children of Albert II, the 8-year-old twins Jacques (crown prince) and Gabriella (princess), there are currently no military training plans for them.