Spain's little princesses delight the nation with exemplary behaviour
20 JUNE 2014
With the eyes of the world trained on their country Princess Leonor and her sister Princess Sofia of Spain couldn't have been better behaved.
Dressed in colour-coordinated outfits, the little girls were a credit to their parents King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia as he was proclaimed monarch in a historic day filled with pomp and ceremony.
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Princess Leonor behaved with all the dignity of a future queen
Following the abdication of their grandfather King Juan Carlos their lives have changed.
Leonor, eight, now becomes the Princess of Asturias, denoting her status as heiress to her father's crown. She lived up to her royal heritage, solemnly shaking hands with dozens of dignitaries and waving prettily at the exuberant crowds.
Following her example closely was her little sister, who aged seven, already understands her place in the order of succession. If ever she found herself ahead of the future queen, Sofia instinctively adjusted her pace so that she fell into step behind her.
Leonor and her sister endured hours of ceremonywithout flagging
Even their father's 25-minute speech in the National Congress went off without so much as a fidget. The princesses sat on red damask chairs that were smaller versions of their parents', legs crossed, clapping politely along with the 700 senators, deputies and government ministers.
During the address, in which the king pledged to carry out his duties with "energy and enthusiam", he had a special mention for the girls.
To shy smiles from Leonor and Sofia, the new monarch said: "The queen and I shall educate our daughters, in (the) values of freedom, responsibility, solidarity and tolerance."
Felipe gave his daughters a special mention in his first speech as king
The day had begun early with a 9:30am ceremony in the Zarzuela Palace where their emotional grandfather handed over the red sash of the chief of the Armed Forces to King Felipe. Then the princesses joined the new king and queen on the journey to Parliament for Felipe's official swearing in.
Proceedings culminated with a balcony appearance of the entire family at the Royal Palace in the centre of Madrid amid bright sunshine. Down below in Plaza Oriente, a mass of up to 40,000 people waved flags, cheered and chanted "Fe-Li-Pe, Fe-Li-Pe", giving Leonor a glimpse into her own future.