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Queen Letizia's daughter Infanta Sofia set for emotional separation

King Felipe and Queen Letizia are parents to Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia


Infanta Sofia leaves Spain to start school at UWC Atlantic College© FRANCISCO GOMEZ/SPANISH ROYAL HOUSEHOLD/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
Updated: August 29, 2023
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Tuesday proved to be another emotional day for the Spanish royal family as King Felipe and Queen Letizia bid farewell to their daughter, Infanta Sofia, as she headed off to college.

The family were pictured outside their residence, the Prince's Pavilion, next to Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, as the 16-year-old prepared to travel to the airport to fly to the UK.

Infanta Sofia will start the first year of a two-year International Baccalaureate study program at UWC Atlantic College in Wales.

The young royal, who was dressed in khaki chinos and a plaid shirt, packed two suitcases into a waiting car as she said goodbye to her parents and the family's pet dog.

Sofia's older sister, Princess Leonor, 17, enrolled at the General Military Academy of Zaragoza earlier this month.

The Spanish royals dropped Leonor off for her first day, where they all shared a heartwarming farewell. See the moment in the clip below…

WATCH: Queen Letizia and King Felipe bid farewell to Princess Leonor as she starts military training

Infanta Sofia is following in her big sister's footsteps by studying at UWC Atlantic College, which is set in the 12th century St Donat's Castle on the southern Welsh coast.

The teenager will reside at one of the eight boarding houses on site.

Infanta Sofia leaves Spain to start at UWC Atlantic College© FRANCISCO GOMEZ/SPANISH ROYAL HOUSEHOLD/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Infanta Sofia bid farewell to King Felipe and Queen Letizia

Campus facilities include a library, woodland, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, and classrooms within historic buildings.

The Spanish palace later shared some snaps of Infanta Sofia arriving in the grounds of the picturesque college, with a stunning view of the coast and the swimming pool in the background.

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Other royals who have attended UWC Atlantic College include King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands and his middle daughter, Princess Alexia, as well as Princess Elisabeth of Belgium and Princess Raiyah of Jordan.

Infanta Sofia says goodbye to family dog as she leaves for college© FRANCISCO GOMEZ/SPANISH ROYAL HOUSEHOLD/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Sofia petted the family's dog before leaving

Sofia's big move comes less than ten days after she and Queen Letizia attended the Women's World Cup final at Stadium Australia in Sydney as Spain were victorious against England's Lionesses.

UWC Atlantic College is set in St Donat's Castle© Getty
UWC Atlantic College is set in St Donat's Castle

The royal mother and daughter were seen celebrating with the team, with Sofia sporting Spain's flag around her shoulders, as Letizia held the trophy.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia, who married in 2004, have returned to their public duties after spending their annual family holiday in Palma de Mallorca.

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