International Royals

Princess Leonor and Princess Alexia's emotional farewells as they leave their royal families

The princesses are starting a new chapter in their lives.

By Maddison Leach
Two European princesses have left their kingdoms today to head to the UK, where they're both about to start at a prestigious new school.
Princess Leonor of Spain and Princess Alexia of the Netherlands are both enrolled at the historic UWC Atlantic College in Wales.
With the school year about to begin, both princesses have had emotional farewells with their families before travelling to the UK to continue their studies.
Queen Letizia of Spain hugs her daughter, Princess Leonor, at an airport in Madrid. (Getty)
Princess Leonor, 15, is the eldest daughter of King Felipe IV and Queen Letizia of Spain and will one day wear her father's crown as Queen.
She cuddled up to her parents one last time at the Adolfo Suarez Barajas Airport in Madrid before catching her flight to the UK on Monday.
Photos showed the teen wearing a mask and embracing her mother tightly, before giving her father a hug and heading off to catch her flight.
Her younger sister, Princess Sofia, 14, was also there to say goodbye to her big sister with one last hug.
Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, 16-year-old Princess Alexia posed for one last photo outside Paleis Huis ten Bosch, a royal palace in The Hague, Netherlands.
Dressed in ripped jeans, converse sneakers and a red plaid jacket, Alexia carried two bags and a face mask as she prepared to head to the airport.
Princess Alexia of the Netherlands poses for one last photo before heading to the UK to embark on a new chapter. (Instagram)
The photo, which was posted to the Dutch royal family's Instagram page, was captioned: "Princess Alexia is leaving for the United World College of the Atlantic (UWC Atlantic College) in Llantwit Major in Wales."
King Willem-Alexander, Alexia's father, was the one behind the camera snapping his daughter's last moments before heading to the UK.
He and Queen Maxima are believed to have farewelled their daughter privately.
Alexia is their second daughter; their eldest is Princess Catharina-Amalia, 17, who is her father's heir, and the youngest is Princess Ariane, 14.
Alexia and Leonor will both be studying at the UWC Atlantic College in Wales for the next two years and are understood to be boarding at the elite school.
While they're likely to return to their home nations for holidays and breaks, the young royals will spend most of the next two years in the UK.
They may even cross paths during their studies, and given their similar backgrounds, the two princesses could end up forming a friendship.
Other royals who have graduated from the historic school include Alexia's father, King Willem-Alexander, Princess Raiyah bint Al-Hussein of Jordan and Princess Elisabeth of Belgium.
The Spanish royal family wave goodbye to Princess Leonor. (Getty)

read more from