Eleanor de Borbón is the youngest of all the European heirs and also the last to start her military training as an obligatory step on her way to the throne. The 17-year-old Princess of Asturias, in accordance with the royal decree approved in the last Council of Ministers, will spend three years in the different academies, one for each of the three armies (Earth, Navy and Air), following the same route carried out by both his father, Felipe VI, and his grandfather Juan Carlos I.
The Princess of Asturias has to measure herself against her European counterparts, three women (Victoria from Sweden, Isabel from Belgium and Amalia from the Netherlands) and three men (Frederico from Denmark, Haakon from Norway and Guillermo from Wales) who, like her, are located in the first place of the succession order. All except Amalia from the Netherlands have had military training.
Frederick of Denmark is the oldest of Europe's heirs, by age and waiting time. When his mother, Queen Margaret, took the throne in 1972, he was three years old and is now about to turn 55. From 1986 to 2004 he underwent military training and has been in contact with the army. He completed, in his day, university studies in Political Science, went through the three armies but opted for the Navy and has had responsibilities in the Defense General Staff.
Haakon of Norway (49) has been crown prince since the proclamation of his father, King Harald, in 1990. He did, like the rest of his fellow citizens, the military service that is compulsory in Norway and lasts between 12 and 18 months. Until 2016 it was only mandatory for men, but since then it has also been for women, which is why Princess Ingrid (19), second in succession, will begin her military service next year. Prince Haakon, after serving in the military, entered the Bergen Naval Academy and served for a year on a Norwegian Navy ship.
Princess Victoria of Sweden was born in 1977 when her father, Carl Gustaf, was already king. She was the first future queen to receive military training. Neither Elizabeth II, nor Margarita of Denmark, nor Beatriz of Holland, even though they were heads of their respective armies, received instruction. However, the Swedish heiress only spent, in 2003, three weeks of immersion in the Swedish army but since then she has participated in military exercises every year.
Guillermo de Gales, heir since last September when his father, Carlos II, succeeded his grandmother Isabel II, is the only one who has belonged to the army professionally. After training at the Sandhurst Military Academy, he served for seven years as a helicopter pilot in an air rescue unit.
Elizabeth of Belgium, 21, heiress since the proclamation of her father, King Philip, in 2013, entered the Royal Military Academy of Belgium at the age of 18, where she spent a full year to prepare as the future head of the Belgian armed forces. The military training of the Belgian princess lasted a full course that she closed by participating in the military parade on National Day. Like Eleanor, Isabel studied in Wales and is now at the English University of Oxford.
Amalia de Holanda, 19, heiress since 2014, has no obligation to undergo military training since the duties of the King of the Netherlands do not include being head of the Armed Forces, although her father, King William, did attend military studies. Even so, the Dutch princess makes regular visits to units of the Dutch army to learn about their operation and be in contact with the soldiers.