Many followers of Spanish royalty wonder: Why is Leonor a Princess and her younger sister, Sofia, an Infanta? What is the difference?
On October 31, 2005, the then Prince of Asturias Felipe and Letizia Ortiz welcomed their firstborn, Leonor de Todos los Santos de Borbón y Ortiz. Two years later, on April 29, 2007, Sofía de Todos los Santos de Borbón y Ortiz was born.
What is the meaning of Infanta?
The title of infanta was always part of the Hispanic monarchies during the Middle Ages. By that time all sons and daughters of kings, regardless of their birth order, received the title of infantes or infantas which was a rank equivalent to princes and princesses.
Later, in the 14th century, under the reign of Juan I of Castile, it was decided to make a distinction between the heir to the throne and the rest of his children, and immediately the title of prince or princess of Asturias was created.
Since then, the constitution of Spain determines that only the heir to the throne can bear the title of princess, receiving the principality of Asturias. The other sons must be called infantes or infantas, but they also receive the treatment of Royal Highness.
When Felipe becomes King in 2014, Leonor becomes Princess of Asturias and Sofia gets the title of Infanta of Spain and becomes second in line to the throne.
What are the differences between Princess and Infanta?
One of the most marked differences between being Princess or Infanta is the imbalance of privileges and responsibilities such as presiding over events and giving speeches.
Princess Leonor has to deal with the titles of Princess of Asturias, Girona and Viana, corresponding to the Kingdom of Castile, the Crown of Aragon and the Kingdom of Navarre. As heir to the throne, she also holds the titles of Duchess of Montblanc, Countess of Cervera and Lady of Balaguer.
It is said that Felipe and Letizia have worked hard to create the perfect balance between their daughters, to avoid jealousy and rivalry. Although between them has been seen a lot of complicity. Leonor often acts as Sofia’s protector and the two form a solid core of friendship in the public eye. At official events and family outings it is common to see them talking or even holding hands.