15-year-old Leonor is the eldest daughter of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, and presumed heir to the throne. She will join 16-year-old Alexia, the second daughter of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima at the school.
Crown Princess Leonor today at @UWCAtlantic.
📸 TT Nyhetsbyraen https://t.co/52Bk1uYU7W
UWC was founded in 1962 by German educationalist Kurt Hahn and was made for students from all around the world to attend together. The 12th-century St Donat’s Castle campus boats 122-acre grounds and seafront views of Glamorgan, Wales. UWC has 18 campuses across four continents.
“Having a princess learning alongside a refugee is a really positive experience, both for the students, but also for the learning that takes place in a classroom,” Principal Peter T. Howe told Insider.
Princess Leonor of Spain starts the school year at UWC Atlantic College on August 30, 2021 in Llantwit Major, Gales… https://t.co/ErmTPPWzSZ
— Queen Maxima and Royal Ladies (@Queen Maxima and Royal Ladies)
“The idea is that if you bring students together from around the world for the final two years of their high school, they would form these bonds of friendship that would be stronger than their nationalist ties,” he added.
Previous students at UWC include King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands who was part of the school’s lifeboat service, Princess Raiyah bint Al Hussein of Jordan, and most recently, Crown Princess Elisabeth of Belgium. Despite their presence, Howe said the royals are treated the same as everyone else and teachers are even called by their first name, unlike other more formal schools.
Also marking it as different from other schools, UWC teaches alternative topics like the environment, social inequality and activism. Students have four formal classes per day between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., but afternoons are reserved for personal development where each student can decide whether to spend time on sports, creativity, or community initiatives.