How modern is Spain’s monarchy?
Spain’s Princess Leonor, heir presumptive to the Spanish throne, has sworn an oath to the constitution at a formal ceremony on her 18th birthday. For the first time the ceremony was held in all the country’s languages, but deputies from the regions striving for independence and from the left-wing ruling coalition party Sumar nonetheless stayed away in protest. Commentators are at odds over whether the country’s next queen will be able to breathe new life into the Spanish monarchy.
Leonor represents young, democratic Spain
ABC celebrates the heir presumptive:
“Leonor’s contemporaries know she has a playlist on Spotify featuring songs by Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa and Aitana, and that she’s on Tiktok and Instagram. ... She is a normal Spaniard in the best sense of the word. But she also guarantees the values of progress. ... Princess Leonor is an example and a solid hope for Generation Z, the Spain that has only known democracy, that doesn’t fear populism because it knows that the rule of law is the best achievement in history, that must meet the challenge of youth unemployment, that believes in plurality as much as in the law. ... Leonor will play this modern and reforming role as the protector of Spain Z.”
Heir to the throne has nothing to offer Gen Z
In eldiario.es, 23-year-old Elizabeth Duval rejects the idea that she belongs to the "Leonor generation":
“What does Leonor have in common with those of who grew up without a future, who lived through the 2008 economic crisis, and then grew up and started our studies — if we could — and experienced the consequences of the pandemic, war and instability? What does Leonor know about youth unemployment? ... The ‘Leonor generation’ can hardly believe in a monarchy marked by scandals and corruption, machismo and embezzlement.”
Multilingualism with symbolic power
The separatists no longer see the heir to the throne as an enemy, El País writes:
“The idea of a Leonor who delivers long speeches in perfect Catalan is significant. ... A future queen who can communicate with Catalan civil society in a way in which it considers so important can no longer be perceived with hostility. ... State symbols losing their status as opponents or perpetrators of injustice is the worst thing that could happen to the independence movement, since it could no longer use them to generate fear of Spain. ... Leonor being sworn in in a multilingual Congress has symbolic power, despite the absence of certain nationalist and pro-independence parties.”