She is first in line to the Spanish throne and on Tuesday Crown Princess Leonor took her first steps towards becoming a queen.
The 12-year-old princess was joined by her family at the Royal Palace in Madrid where she was presented with the Order of the Golden Fleece.
The honour was bestowed upon the princess by her father King Felipe VI who looked every bit the proud father as he presented his eldest with the order.
Crown Princess Leonor was presented with the Order of the Golden Fleece by her father King Felipe of Spain on Tuesday
The Spanish monarch is also celebrating his 50th birthday today but seemed happy to dedicate the day to his daughter.
Leonor, who is the eldest of Felipe’s two daughters, looked smart for the occasion wearing an elegant dusky blue dress with a velvet trim.
She wore her glossy golden locks loose with a sweet side plait to keep her hair from falling in her face.
Leonor’s mother, Queen Letizia, could be seen offering her daughter words of congratulations following the ceremony
The Order of The Golden Fleece is considered to be one of Spain’s highest honours
She was presented the honour before a crowd of dignitaries at the palace, leaning to give her proud father a kiss on the cheek following the ceremony.
Among the smiling faces in the crowd was of course Leonor’s mother Queen Letizia who glowed with pride throughout the ceremony.
The 45-year-old royal looked her elegant best in a two piece scarlet suit complete with a deeper red velvet blouse.
She swept her brunette tresses into a low chignon and even paired her manicure with her ensemble opting for a bright rouge.
The 12-year-old princess looked smart in a pale blue frock with a velvet trim for the occasion
The royal couple’s youngest daughter Princess Sofia, 10, was also present dressed in an elegant pink dress with a Peter Pan collar
She could be seen congratulating her eldest following the ceremony, reaching out to stroke her face after receiving the order.
Also present today was Leonor’s younger sister Princess Sofia, 10, who looked pretty in an elegant pink dress.
Felipe awarded the angelic-looking princess with one of Spain’s most prestigious awards, the Order of the Golden Fleece which dates from 1430.
King Felipe is also celebrating his 50th birthday today, but was more than happy to dedicate the occasion to his daughter
Receiving the order is a symbolic step in Leonor’s preparation for the future as first in line to the Spanish throne
The family took it in turns to congratulate the young princess following the presentation
The distinction presented to Leonor marks a ‘symbolic step in her preparation and future’ when she will ascend the throne.
To commemorate the king’s 50th birthday, the Royal Palace over the weekend released dozens of photos and videos providing a rare glimpse of Felipe’s domestic life with his wife Letizia, a former TV anchor, and their two young daughters.
They show Leonor in her school uniform holding Felipe’s hand, laughing while eating soup at the family dinner table, and teasing the king just before he taped his annual Christmas message.
WHAT IS THE ORDER OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE?
The Order of the Golden Fleece was founded by Philip III the Good, duke of Burgundy, at Bruges in 1430, to commemorate his wedding to Isabella of Portugal.
The order, founded to defend the Roman Catholic religion, to uphold the usages of chivalry, and to increase the prestige of the dukes of Burgundy, was ideally supposed to settle all disputes between its knights
Through the marriage of Mary of Burgundy to the Austrian archduke Maximilian (1477), the grand mastership was then passed to the house of Habsburg.
The Holy Roman emperor Charles V (Charles I of Spain), left the grand mastership to his son Philip II of Spain, but, following the extinction of the Spanish Habsburgs (1700), it was disputed between the Bourbon kings of Spain and the Austrian Habsburgs.
The emperor Charles VI instituted the order in Vienna in 1713, and from then on both the Austrian and the Spanish sovereigns continued to award the Golden Fleece as their principal order of knighthood.
It was exclusively reserved to Roman Catholics of the highest nobility.