As Princess Leonor begins her military training, she will have a designated tutor guiding her education.
King Felipe VI strategically selected Lieutenant Colonel Margarita Pardo de Santayana for this vital role in shaping the future Queen.
An ideal tutor for Princess Leonor
King Felipe’s choice of Pardo de Santayana provides exceptional mentoring for his daughter Leonor.
The pioneering female officer embodies core military values that Felipe aims to instill in the heir.
Pardo de Santayana comes from a prestigious military lineage as the daughter of a former Chief of Staff. But she earned her accomplished reputation through exceptional service rather than name alone.
The King entrusts his daughter’s development to a seasoned role model who can impart both discipline and wisdom.
Military Leadership Experience
Pardo de Santayana boasts an impressive military resume proving her qualifications to mentor Leonor:
- First woman to command an infantry battalion in the Spanish Army
- Held leadership roles in major international missions in Mali, Afghanistan, and Macedonia
- Currently, the sole female officer assigned to the King’s Military Chamber
Her trailblazing career demonstrates a deep commitment to service and the capability to take on great responsibility.
The tutor: a fundamental role
The tutor plays a pivotal part in a royal’s military education, as King Juan Carlos’ experience shows. His tutor Lieutenant Colonel Juan Antonio Alcina shielded the young Felipe from outside scrutiny during training.
Now Pardo de Santayana will take on this vital position for Leonor. She will guide the princess through the program while mitigating intense public pressure.
Return to Roots
In a touching full circle moment, Pardo de Santayana will return to the Zaragoza Military Academy where she began her own officer training in 1995.
Her father personally handed her the lieutenant rank upon graduation. She embraces the chance to pay that mentorship forward to the future Queen.
Advocate for Women’s Advancement
An outspoken proponent of women’s integration and leadership in the armed forces, Pardo de Santayana’s legacy aligns closely with Leonor’s modernizing role.
She declared that under her command, there were neither men nor women – only soldiers. This mindset perfectly suits training the first female heir apparent in Spain’s history.
Pardo de Santayana represents the pinnacle of Spanish military values – honor, discipline, and loyalty. Married with 5 children, she embodies leadership, service, and family.
The princess could ask for no finer role model and guide as she steps into her own journey of leadership.
Assigning this female officer provides the perfect mentoring for Spain’s future Queen and commander-in-chief.