Royal Military Service

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I think one of the reasons that Leonor is following in her father's footsteps in her military training is because Felipe believes he was well prepared for his role as King. In fact, of the current and recent Kings and Queens, Felipe seems very at peace with his education and training. When guiding Leonor, it may have simply been a situation of Felipe actively encouraging the Princess to make similar decisions. It is also not unusual for military parents to enthusiastically support their children entering the military, out of the belief that it gave them leadership and training for life outside the military.

What I don't understand, is that if Leonor did the 4 years for the military degree, would this have barred her from an undergraduate degree in law (which is what is hinted to be her future uni education)? In some countries, you can only get one undergraduate/bachelor's, and in others, you can obtain dual degrees of equal stature. Otherwise, I don't really understand why she isn't getting the full military degree, but I'm guessing there is a reason I don't know.

I think the main reason why she is not doing the full course is that she will spend one year instead in each of the 3 service academies to get acquainted with all 3 branches (Army, Navy and Air Force). The government had to create a special education program for her, which was actually approved by royal decree (the name used for executive orders in some European monarchies).
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As for the CINC role, despite JC's actions during the aforementioned coup, I understand it is mostly ceremonial nowadays, not unlike the role of the British monarch or the Governors General in the realms. The CINC awards military honors and I suppose probably presents colors to military units and approves new military insignia and badges. All officers and enlisted ranks also swear an oath that includes a pledge of loyalty to the King. However, the Spanish constitution says that the responsibility for the military administration and for national defense lies with the government, which is constitutionally separate from the King in Spain.

Realistically speaking, Leonor does not need military training to exercise the role of CINC in the narrow sense that this role is defined, either explicitly or in practice, in modern Spain. Under normal circumstances, she won't have political control over the miitary (that lies with the prime minister and the defense minister) and much less operational command over the forces (which lies with the military chiefs of staff and the unit or field commanders below them). Having said that, I don't think she is "a mascot" either and I believe the training she is getting is for real and that she will get out of the 3 service academies with real military skills. I just don't see a point of doing it unless she really likes or is interested in military life.

King Felipe VI mentioned once that the military education of the Princess was also important because of the values that military life can instill on people and its importance in character building (or something along those lines). I don't disagree with the King that military education indeed has the merits he mentioned and builds character and other commendable virtues, but I disagree that Leonor (and most other people) cannot acquire similar virtues in a civilian life only without having any military experience.

Again my problem is with why it is accepted without any debate that Leonor must be in the military because she is the heir to the Crown as if that were an absolute truth. Mutatis mutandis, I believe the same question applies to most other heirs (in some countries like the Netherlands, military service doesn't seem to be such a big deal, at least for female heirs, although men might be possibly treated differently).

You make excellent points. I think there are several additional reasons why royal military service is often seen as desirable:

1. In many cases, it reinforces historical continuity, as many monarchies developed out of military power structures and many reigning dynasties were founded by military commanders.

2. For some royals, it is a rare opportunity to build close bonds with people from less privileged origins in a relatively private setting.

3. In the case of heiresses whose male predecessors received military educations, following the tradition bolsters their case that they are equally qualified to reign, and more specifically to carry out military-related duties, which cannot be taken for granted. (See Sweden, where even today it is Prince Carl Philip, not Crown Princess Victoria, who accompanies the King at the annual military ceremony on the King's birthday and is assigned to other military engagements.)
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