Enter Princess Leonor.
According to El Español newspaper, King Felipe’s eldest daughter—and the heir apparent to the Spanish throne—is the most popular member of the royal family (even more so than her father). After mostly staying out of the spotlight during her youth, over the past few months the Princess of Asturias made a near flawless debut as a young adult royal. This summer she enrolled in Spain’s General Military Academy of Zaragoza. Cameras extensively covered the first day of her three-year military training, with many praising her mature decision to actively prepare for becoming Spain’s head of state. (It’s said that after the military academy, she will go on to study law.)
Back in September, the royal household shared a photo of her in full uniform, posing with her classmates. And in October she hosted the Princess of Asturias Awards ceremony in a pair of Bulgari earrings. With these new, high-profile, and even glamorous appearances, the Spanish press has reported that the country is in a fit of “Leonormania.”
For a country that is divided over the monarchy, Leonor’s entrance into the spotlight may be the only hope for its future. Just as the stylish and young Prince William and Kate Middleton helped buoy the British royals’ popularity (in 2023, Middleton was the second most popular royal after the queen herself, according to YouGov, whereas future King Charles sat in sixth place), it seems that Leonor has the potential to stabilize her own family from its scandal-filled past. She is—it’s safe to say—a queen in the making.
This article first appeared on Vogue.