13 Feb, 2021 @ 12:00
1 min read

Spanish channel RTVE forced to apologise for comparing Princess Leonor, 15, to disgraced former King ahead of her move to UK

powerful women leonor princess
Princess Leonor

SPAIN’S main TV channel was forced to apologise after receiving a barrage of complaints following their coverage of Princess Leonor’s educational move to the UK. 

RTVE caused a stir with their handling of the news that the young royal would be leaving Spain to continue her secondary education in Wales. 

The programme’s decision to compare the princess’ departure to ditching the country ‘like her grandfather’ caused uproar across Spain, with viewers blasting lunchtime show La Hora de La on social media. 

powerful women leonor princess
Princess Leonor

The strapline likening the 15-year-old to her disgraced grandparent Juan Carlos stayed on screen for almost two minutes during the segment about the heir to the throne’s education.

It read ‘Leonor is leaving Spain, like her grandfather’ a reference to the former king who went into self-imposed exile in August 2020 following allegations of financial impropriety. 

The conservative Popular Party, the main opposition grouping in Spain, blasted the station for ‘attacking the Crown’’ while its Head of Online Communication, Ismael Martin, called  the move ‘one of the most embarrassing moments in the history’. 

Royal Christmas Card 1 1
GOING TO WALES: Princess Leonor (right) will study at a UWC college in Wales

Director of the station María Mateo quickly released a statement following the backlash, saying she ’deeply regretted the serious error that occurred’.

“The station has taken immediate measures so that those responsible are relieved of their positions,” she wrote. 

 The statement went on to describe the banner as ‘a serious irresponsibility that cannot cloud RTVE’s unwavering commitment to the defence of constitutional values, to institutions of the State and, above all, to the Crown’. 

Casa Real has made no comment on the programme.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia announced on Thursday that Leonor follow in the footsteps of Princess Elisabeth of Belgium and join classes at UWC Atlantic College.

The heir to the throne will start classes at the school, based in the Vale of Glamorgan in south Wales, this autumn and study for an International Baccalaureate.

Kirsty Mckenzie

Kirsty is a journalist who has reported on news, entertainment, food and drink, travel and features since 2015. She lives in the south of Spain.
Got a story? Email kirsty@theolivepress.es

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