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Spain celebrates first possible queen in over 100yrs

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Spain's royal baby could someday be queen
Last Updated Mon, 31 Oct 2005 09:44:26 EST
CBC News
Spain is celebrating the birth of a princess who could grow up to become queen.

Baby Leonor is the first child of Crown Princess Letizia, 33, and her husband, Crown Prince Felipe de Borbon, 37. The couple married 17 months ago.

"This is the most beautiful thing that can happen in someone's life," Felipe told reporters gathered in the parking lot of the Madrid maternity clinic where the caesarean birth took place early Monday.

Leonor is second in line to the throne behind her father. Her grandfather, King Juan Carlos, 67, currently heads Spain's constitutional monarchy.

The child's birth comes as Spain's socialist government is considering a change in the law that would allow royal daughters to take the throne even if they have younger brothers.

At the moment, Felipe is the heir to the throne even though he has two older sisters, Elena and Christina.

The constitutional amendment would not affect his place in line, but would safeguard Leonor's position if her parents later have a son.

The last queen of Spain was Isabel II, who reigned from 1833-1868.

Felipe, who studied at Ontario's Lakefield College School for a year as a teenager, told reporters that his daughter would receive all the training befitting a future queen.

"We hope to be able to transmit to the little Leonor all that we've learned in our lives, the education, to help her face the challenges, which I'm sure will be important in her life."

In the British monarchy, the throne is passed to the reigning monarch's eldest son unless the monarch has only daughters. That was the case when the current Queen's father died the Princess Elizabeth had no brothers.

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