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Princess Leonor baptised in an intimate service

January 15, 2006
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Her grandmother Queen Sofia described Princess Leonor as a "a bit of crier" shortly after she was born in October. But when the daughter of Spain's Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia was christened in a family ceremony this weekend there were smiles rather than tears.

After the Saturday afternoon service, 38-year-old Felipe had a tender kiss for his daughter, who'd slept through much of her big day. Clad in a cream gown, the royal infant only opened her eyes briefly as water from the River Jordan was sprinkled on her head by Madrid's Archbishop, Antonio Maria Rouco Varela.

She was christened Leonor de Todos Los Santos - Leonor of all the saints - in the Zarzuela Palace, which was also the setting for the baptism of her father and aunts, the Infantas Elena and Cristina, as well as their six offspring. All children born into the royal family traditionally have the moniker "of all the saints" added to their given names.

Queen Sofia and King Juan Carlos will serve as godparents, in keeping with another royal custom which dictates that the monarchs do the honours for the future kings or queens. At the moment, Leonor is second in line to the throne, but under current legislation, she would have to cede her position to a younger brother.

Also witnessing the special event were members of the medical team that attended her birth and a small delegation of Spanish politicians, led by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez. He has vowed to amend the laws of succession to give females equal rights to the throne.

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Photo: ©
Baby Leonor flinched slightly but didn't cry as water was sprinkled over her by the Archbishop of Madrid, watched by her father, Crown Prince Felipe (from left), mother Princess Letizia and grandparents, Queen Sofia and King Juan CarlosPhoto: © AFPy
Photo: ©
A clearly besotted prince rewards his daughter with a kiss for being so good during the servicePhoto: © AFP

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