Princess Leonor, heir to the Spanish throne, has been raised from birth to one day become Queen.
Everything points to the fact that the firstborn of King Felipe and Queen Letizia will assume that destiny for which she has been rigorously preparing.
But what would happen if Leonor decides not to accept the Crown?
Line of succession to the throne if Leonor should renounce to be Queen
Although it seems unlikely, it would not be the first time that an heir renounced his dynastic rights. The Spanish Constitution contemplates this possibility and establishes the procedure to be followed.
Article 57 states that the succession will follow the regular order of primogeniture and representation, prioritizing first the direct line over the collaterals and, in the same line, the male over the female.
Therefore, if Leonor were to resign, the next in the line of succession would be her sister, the Infanta Sofia. Should Sofia also decline the throne, it would pass to the Infanta Elena, the older sister of King Felipe.
And should none of the female members of the Royal Household wish to become Queen, the throne would go to the closest male in the line of succession, currently none other than the controversial Felipe Juan Froilán de Marichalar, son of the Infanta Elena.
What would happen if Princess Leonor decided not to be Queen?
The Constitution establishes that any renunciation or doubt about the succession must be resolved by an organic law approved by the Cortes Generales.
Such a law would regulate the details to make Leonor’s decision effective and the ascension to the throne of the new monarch according to the established order.
Another hypothetical scenario would be for King Felipe and Queen Letizia to have a male child born after Leonor.
The male primogeniture prefixed in the Constitution means that this child would become the heir, ahead of his older sisters.
Something similar happened when King Alfonso XIII was born, who replaced his older sister, the Infanta Maria de las Mercedes, as heir. The birth of a male child in the Royal House would now cause Leonor to lose her status as Princess of Asturias.
It should be noted that these succession criteria are specific to the Crown and do not apply to other citizens, as they contradict the constitutional principle of equality before the law.
But they are considered an exceptional regime because they are centenary rules relating only to the Royal Family.
In conclusion, the improbable resignation of Leonor to the Spanish Crown would have consequences determined by the Constitution and the laws, which would regulate the new succession order giving preference to the males of the Royal House according to primogeniture.