CULTURE

Princess Leonor of Spain Spent Her 13th Birthday Delivering Her First Public Address

She's next in line to the Spanish throne.


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While most other 13-year-olds’ Wednesday plans likely revolved around donning creepy masks and scavenging for as much candy as their pillowcases could possibly hold, Princess Leonor of Spain celebrated the day in a slightly more dignified way. Not only did October 31 mark the young royal‘s 13th birthday, but it was also the 40th anniversary of the ratification of her motherland’s current constitution, and she rang in both milestones by delivering her first-ever public address.

At an official event marking the Carta Magna’s big day at the Cervantes Institute in Madrid, Leonor stepped up to the podium to read the first of the document’s 169 articles, according to the Associated Press. She was introduced by her father, King Felipe VI, who warmed up the crowd for her by reciting the constitution’s preamble. After handing over the mic to his elder daughter, Felipe remained by her side as she read out Article I in a “firm voice,” per the AP. Though Leonor’s first speech to her family’s loyal subjects wasn’t exactly a juicy one—Article I simply cements Spain’s status as a “social and democratic state,” organized into a parliamentary monarchy—it was still a big moment for the newly minted teenager and her father, who reportedly also made his own initial foray into royal speechmaking at the age of 13, in 1981.

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Leonor, whose long list of titles includes Princess of Asturias, Princess of Girona, Princess of Viana, Duchess of Montblanc, Countess of Cervera, and Lady of Balaguer, is currently next in line to the throne after her father. If and when she assumes the throne, she’ll be Spain’s first queen regnant in more than a century; the last female member of the royal bloodline to rule the nation was Queen Isabella II, who ruled for several decades in the mid-19th century. Leonor is already well on her way to being throne-ready: Wednesday’s address came only a few months after she was awarded the Order of the Golden Fleece, one of Spain’s most prestigious honors. “Today, Leonor, you are taking a very important and symbolic step towards your future role,” her father said at the January ceremony. “I know it may seem like you have lots of challenges and responsibilities to face, all important and difficult, but know that you have the support of many people who want the best for Spain, for the crown, and for you.”

It’s probably for the best that the Spanish royal family is seemingly shifting the world’s attention to its next generations, since most global headlines concerning the elder royals haven’t been particularly flattering. Back in 2014, Leonor’s grandfather, King Juan Carlos I, abdicated the throne after a tumultuous, scandal-marred reign. And earlier this year, footage surfaced of what appeared to be a family quarrel between Leonor’s mom, Queen Letizia, and grandmother, Queen Sofía, outside Mallorca’s Palma Cathedral on Easter Sunday. Leonor and her younger sister Sofía, however, have so far steered clear of any scandal, opting instead to live relatively normal tween lives.

Related: Visual Proof That Savannah Phillips Is the Most Underrated Royal

Visual Proof That Savannah Phillips Is the Most Underrated Royal

Amid all the renewed interest Princess Eugenie’s official wedding portraits prompted in the status of Fergie and Prince Philip’s longtime feud, it was only this Monday that any attention was paid to Savannah Phillips’s most documented mischief yet: stepping on the bride’s gown, in an image which has since been repeatedly shared by the monarchy.

Courtesy of @kensingtonroyal

Over the summer, Prince William publicly came to realize just how much of a force Savannah Phillips is to reckon with when she dared to cover his son Prince George’s mouth in plain sight on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, during the 2018 Trooping the Colour.

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This, ladies and gentlemen, is the face of a 7-year-old who knows how to make a power move—involving the third in line to the throne, no less.

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Under the reign of corgi-loving Queen Elizabeth II, a sure command for and love of dogs can only bode well. Here’s Savannah Phillips exhibiting both in style, with her mother, Autumn, and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence in 2017.

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In fact, Savannah Phillips has proven herself comfortable commanding the reins since at least the age of 3—to the point that Princess Anne allowed her granddaughter, who was born in 2010, to take one of her pups for a stroll in 2012.

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Savannah Phillips may prefer to romp around in all-weather boots, but when the occasion calls for it, she also seems to have an impeccable eye for style, as demonstrated by the cape she wore to accompany Prince Philip and more royals to a Christmas Day church service in 2016.

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Though that’s definitely not to say she doesn’t also have style when she’s wearing rain boots.

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Like any child, Savannah Phillips apparently loves ice cream—and publicly consumed it with abandon from a very young age, including at the Gatcombe Horse Trials in 2012, when she was barely 2 years old.

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Three years later, in 2016, Savannah Phillips returned to Gatcombe Horse Trails to publicly suffer brain freeze.

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Fast forward to the present—or at least earlier this year, in Gatcombe Park—and Savannah Phillips’s love affair with ice cream remains unabashedly strong.

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No shoes were necessary for Savannah Phillips to steal the show at the 2017 Maserati Royal Polo Trophy match in Tetbury.

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A true rebel to the equestrians, Savannah Phillips opted to spend her time at the 2017 Royal Windsor Horse Show rock-climbing—and showing off a prominent (temporary) tattoo.

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She let loose in a literal sense, too, thanks to a nearby inflatable slide.

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A true sport, Savannah Phillips also gives her cousins—in this case, Mia Tindall—a chance to fight back.

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She’s also been diligent in her duty to pass on family tradition—which, for her, anyway, is to say, mischief-making—to her little sister, Isla Phillips.

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She’s even been sharing when it comes to ice cream, as seen here with her sister, Isla.

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Ever fearless, last year Savannah Phillips showed no intimidation when it came to getting on the field with—and, soon, on the leg of—Zara Phillips’s husband, Mike Tindall, who broke his nose at least eight times during his career as a professional rugby player.

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If that’s truly a peace sign, not Savannah counting down the seconds until she bounced her way through Gatcombe Park, she’s already made quite the symbolical gesture for a 7-year-old royal.

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In may not have been turned into a GIF, but let it not be forgotten that Savannah also caused a minor scene at last year’s Trooping the Colour.

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A close friendship with the reportedly fiercely independent Prince George, showcased earlier this year in Gloucester, is no small endorsement.

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