THE Princess of Asturias, Doña Letizia, and her daughter, Leonor, are due to leave hospital tomorrow morning having been given the medical “all clear” by leading gynaecologists at the Clinica Ruber in Madrid. The wife of Spain's heir to the throne, Crown Prince Felipe, had entered the clinic last Sunday and gave birth to Leonor, the seventh grandchild of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia in the early hours of Monday morning, 31st October. The birth was three weeks premature. Crown Prince Felipe, who was present when his first child came into the world, told reporters it was the most wonderful moment of his life. He has now resumed his normal duties. King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia visited their new grandchild at lunchtime the same day. They described her as a “chubby little thing with chestnut hair” and expressed their gratitude for the way the Spanish people had warmly welcomed the latest addition to the royal family. “Beyond our personal happiness”, said the King, the arrival of Leonor has triggered “important constitutional issues” for the ongoing future of the monarchy in Spain. In a private meeting with company directors and local authorities in Galicia, King Juan Carlos reported he was “thrilled to bits” that his son's first child was a little girl. Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, congratulated the royal couple and their family on the happy event.
Speaking on behalf of the government, Fernandez also confirmed that plans will go ahead in due course to make the legal changes necessary to Spain's Constitution to enable Leonor to inherit the country's throne on the death of her father. She said that the Administration under Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, believed it had a clear duty to ensure equality between men and women in all areas of life, including eligibility to take the throne of Spain, an essential element of the country's continuing political system.


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