Princess Leonor of Spain and Princess Alexia of the Netherlands' proud parents send them off to college in Wales

By Zach Harper

Princess Leonor of Spain and Princess Alexia of the Netherlands' proud parents send them off to college in Wales


King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain and King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands both paid sweet tributes to their daughters as they left to attend the same school in Wales on Aug. 30.

Leonor, 15, and Alexia, 16, will spend the next two years at UWC Atlantic College in Llantwit Major, Wales in its International Baccalaureate program.

Felipe and Letizia were beaming as they said goodbye to Leonor at the airport. Photo: © Casa de Su Majestad El Rey

Felipe and Letizia accompanied Leonor, who is the heir to the Spanish throne, to the airport in Madrid to send her off on Aug. 30. Their younger daughter, 14-year-old Infanta Sofia, joined them to give her big sister a lovely departure.

Sofia gave her sister a huge hug before Leonor went through to her gate. Photo: © Casa de Su Majestad El Rey

Leonor was dressed simply in a striped T-shirt and jeans, carrying her luggage and a backpack. Her proud parents and sister gave her huge hugs as they went with her to her departure gate.

Meanwhile, Willem-Alexander and Máxima shared a sweet photo of Alexia at Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague, Netherlands as she was leaving to head to Wales. Alexia, who is their middle child, was also dressed casually, wearing a red and black flannel sweater, ripped jeans and sneakers. She carried a bag and purse and smiled brightly at the camera outside the family's home.

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UWC Atlantic College is located in St. Donat's Castle in Llantwit Major, and was founded by German-born Kurt Hahn in 1962. Fans of The Crown will remember he also founded Scotland's Gordonstoun boarding school, attended by Prince Philip and Prince Charles. Willem-Alexander went to UWC Atlantic himself when he was a teenager, as did Princess Elisabeth of Belgium, who graduated last year. Princess Raiyah bint al-Hussein of Jordan is also an alumna.

UWC Atlantic College has its home in the gorgeous St. Donat's Castle in the Vale of Glamorgan and readers will likely be reminded of Harry Potter while looking at its decor! Photo: © Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

The International Baccalaureate program at UWC Atlantic College was influential in the development of other International Baccalaureate programs worldwide, though the program itself was first developed in Switzerland.

Studies aged 16 to 19 study in English, French and Spanish along with English, Spanish and Chinese literature. They also take courses in economics, geography, history, IT, philosophy, psychology anthropology and politics, along with sciences, math and the arts. To graduate, they must not only write a 4,000-word essay, but also must demonstrate an understanding of the idea of knowledge itself and how it is acquired. They must also engage in active participation in communities through volunteering through social or charitable causes, sports and athletics or creativity.

Congratulations and good luck to Leonor and Alexia!

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