This Thursday morning, the Princess of Asturias will cross the entrance of the General Military Academy (AGM) of Zaragoza, a neo-Mudéjar building from the 1930s whose façade dominated when her father entered there, 28 years ago now, a statue already retired from its first director, the dictator Francisco Franco. It won’t be the first time she’s done it. She was already there on July 7, accompanying the Kings in the delivery of dispatches to the new officers. But then she came to visit and now she does it to stay. When she passes, she will leave behind her formal treatments and become the Bourbon Lady Cadet. That is the name with which her bosses will call her; At least until next summer she steps up her military career and gets the job of ensign.
Her future teachers assure that the heiress to the Crown will be treated “the same as the others”: she will sleep in a cabin with 12 beds, a shared bathroom and a desk and a closet as the only private spaces; she will wake up at 6:30 a.m. with the sound of reveille and will go to bed at 11:00 p.m. with the sound of the toilet; and she will eat in a self-service with continuous tables with capacity for 600 students. She will change her dresses for her new outfit: three Army uniforms (one for work, another for walks and a third “period” or gala), in addition to sportswear. Like the other students, she must wear her hair in a bow, braid or ponytail; she can only wear a pair of earrings without pendants (something forbidden for men) and both makeup and nail polish must be “discreet”. The only hallmark of her will be the last name on the cookie on her chest: “Borbón”.
The commanders of the academy assured this Wednesday, the eve of her arrival, that they are looking forward to welcoming the future Queen, since for the center it is “an honor” to instruct who is called to be captain general of the three armies. Therefore, her training will be different from the rest of her classmates. Initially, shorter. Instead of spending four years in Zaragoza, there will only be one.
Until October 7, when he is sworn in, he will take the first course and then, until June of next year, the second. Starting in the fall, she will stay in a cabin with one or three companions and will be able to leave on Fridays at noon on the weekend —instead of Saturday, as at the beginning— if she meets the academic objectives, does not have maneuvers or is arrested. It will be then that he joins his promotion, the 82nd of the General, with whom he will share a military career and will receive his lieutenant office in the summer of 2027, when he has already passed through the Marín Naval School (Pontevedra) and the Academy of Aire de San Javier (Murcia) to train as a marine and pilot.
To speed up her military training, Leonor de Borbón will only take strictly military subjects specific to her specialty, infantry. She will learn topography, tactics or logistics and also how to shoot the G-36 assault rifle or the HK 9mm pistol, regulation Army weapons. She and she will go out to the maneuvering field, hot or cold, to put what they have learned to the test. But she will not take the subjects of the university degree (industrial organization engineering), whose title will be received by her colleagues together with the military office. At the end of her military training, she must go to university like her father, Felipe VI, who graduated in Law from the Autonomous University of Madrid. She, too, will not receive the 417-euro wage that cadets charge during the first two courses, which she has renounced.
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subscribeCamareta like the one that will house Princess Leonor at the General Military Academy in Zaragoza, this Wednesday. JAVIER BELVER (EFE)
The 612 students who are entering the AGM this Thursday —among them 140 women, 22.8% of the total— will form the group of cadets and, as in any Army unit, they will be divided into battalions, companies and sections. The section of the Bourbon cadet (with about thirty students) will be her class and in front of it there will be a captain —or, in her case, a female captain— who will tutor her. She will closely follow her academic and psychological evolution, in close contact with Lieutenant Colonel Margarita Pardo de Santayana, assigned to the Zarzuela Military Quarter. Also, like the other rookies, she will receive the advice of a veteran as a guardian angel.
The biggest concern of those responsible for the academy is to preserve the privacy of the future Queen. During the first two weeks, the cadets follow the Reception and Adaptation to Military Life phase, which includes, in addition to learning the basic rules of military life (from saluting to stripes), a talk on security measures. On this occasion, special emphasis will be placed on the restrictions on the use of mobile phones (prohibited in classes and instruction exercises), which must be deposited in a drawer when entering the dormitories. Publishing or uploading images of the interior of the academy to social networks may be subject to disciplinary action. Balancing the students’ right to communicate with the outside world and preventing leaks of prying images that affect the heiress is the biggest challenge they face.
Blending into the military and becoming one of them is the objective of the Bourbon cadet lady. To prevent all the spotlights on her from focusing on her, the Ministry of Defense and the Casa del Rey have decided that she will not parade at the military parade on October 12 in Madrid. But it won’t be easy for her to go unnoticed in an academy where her father’s portrait is everywhere and the sports center, where the cadets spend much of their free time, has been named since it opened, a few years after it opened. the King graduated, Lieutenant Felipe de Borbón. “We have not promoted him (to captain general) yet. To the sports center”, jokes one of the teachers.
Exterior of the General Military Academy of Zaragoza, this Wednesday. Ramón Comet (Europa Press)
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