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Photos of Prince Felipe and his daughters unveiled days before he becomes king

16 JUNE 2014

Prince Felipe will step into his father King Juan Carlos' shoes when he is crowned the reigning monarch of Spain on Thursday.

Ahead of the momentous occasion, the royal palace has released two beautiful photos of Felipe with his daughters Princess Leonor and Princess Sofía.

While the official snaps were taken at Felipe and his wife Princess Letizia's family home in Madrid in August 2012, the photographs present the future king and his daughters as they usually are – smiling, happy and relaxed.

 

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Princess Leonor, Prince Felipe and Princess Sofía



The first shows Leonor, eight, dressed in a pretty floral frock and sitting on her father's lap, while her seven-year-old sister Sofía cuddles her dad from behind. With his two girls at his side, Felipe looks the picture of happiness as he beams out at the camera.

The second snap, also taken by Cristina García Rodero, painted a similar portrait of family man Felipe, who is always pictured in high spirits when with his brood.

Gallery: a closer look at Felipe and Letizia's home

Just last week, the 46-year-old royal said that one day he would like his eldest daughter Leonor to take over his "Príncipe de Asturias" foundation and patronage. The blonde princess will become the youngest heiress to a throne in Europe when her father is named king.

 

Princess Leonor, Prince Felipe and Princess Sofía



Until now the cherubic little girl has been kept largely out of the spotlight by her protective parents Felipe and Letizia. They allow the occasional photograph of their daughter, who is known by the title Infanta Leonor in her home country to differentiate her status as a princess by birth not marriage.

When Felipe is proclaimed King Felipe VI of Spain on Thursday morning, Leonor will assume the title The Princess of Asturias, a similar role to the Prince of Wales.

While Leonor and her sister Sofía are occasionally pictured attending church and at photocalls for their summer holiday, the siblings will be expected to make more public appearances after their parents' coronation.

For now, the youngsters will carry on with their studies at the Santa Maria de los Rosales school in Aravaca, just outside Madrid.