MADRID — The heir to the Spanish throne, 15-year-old Princess Leonor, is going to study in Wales, the Spanish royal household said Wednesday in an announcement that caused a commotion over the state broadcaster’s reporting.
Leonor de Borbón, the elder of two daughters of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, will attend UWC Atlantic College, based at the 12th-century St. Donat’s Castle on the southern Welsh coast, a statement said.
Leonor will begin her two-year course at the boarding school this summer. She turns 16 at the end of October. Her parents will personally meet the course’s cost of 67,000 pounds ($92,700, 76,500 euros).
The royals are this year receiving more than 8.4 million euros ($10.2 million) from the state budget to maintain their household.
The Spanish royal family has been at the center of a controversy in recent years over the conduct of former monarch Juan Carlos, Leonor’s grandfather, whose financial affairs are under investigation by magistrates. He went to live abroad last year to relieve the pressure on the current king, his son.
The news about the princess caused a rumpus at Spanish state broadcaster RTVE, which issued an “urgent statement” after an on-screen headline reported that “Leonor is leaving Spain, like her grandfather.”
RTVE “deeply regrets the grave mistake,” the statement said, promising those responsible will be “relieved of their duties.”
The school, for students aged 16-19 years, says it seeks to “inspire changemakers” who want to work for the common good. It looks for students who “can navigate the complexity of life and (reach) beyond easy answers,” according to the school’s website. The royal household statement noted the school’s “open and critical approach.”
The school says it takes in students from around 150 countries.
Princess Leonor obtained admission to the school anonymously, taking several tests before being accepted, the royal household said.
The United World College Movement includes 18 schools around the world, the website says.