After 'Leonormania': Who are Europe's next generation of young royals?

After 'Leonormania': Who are Europe's next generation of young royals?

Europe remains firmly in the grip of ‘Leonormania’ after the Spanish Crown Princess turned 18 this week and gave a poised performance as she graduated from military academy and swore an oath to the crown.

While a majority of European nations no longer have a monarchy - just 12 kingdoms and principalities remain - and most members of these royal families have little real power, they’re still of interest to many members of the public.

Arguably the most famous royal family of all is that of the British - with newly-crowned Charles and Camilla at the head of it - it’s in a difficult place PR-wise.

The new king and queen are in their 70s and the heir-apparent William and his wife Catherine are over 40 with their children still too young to inspire much excitement. It's a similar picture for the Nordic royals too.

On the continent, though, the picture is very different.

Along with Leonor, there seems to be a never-ending lineup of fresh-faced young royals ready to inspire fans of the monarch across Europe - and beyond.

Prince Nikolai of Denmark

This 24-year-old Dane may only be seventh in line to the throne, but his popularity expands far wider than his royal roots.

Grandson of the reigning Queen Margrethe II, Nikolai is perhaps best known for his work in the modelling industry.

Famous for his ‘razor-sharp’ cheekbones, he made his catwalk debut back in 2018 at London Fashion Week for British heritage brand Burberry.

Prince Nikolai of Denmark walks the runway during a Dior Homme Menswear show in Paris
Prince Nikolai of Denmark walks the runway during a Dior Homme Menswear show in Paris - Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty

Since then, he’s become synonymous with French luxury house Dior Homme and, in particular, creative director Kim Jones’ collections.

Nikolai has walked in a number of shows for the label and has appeared in campaigns too.

For someone so blue-blooded, he is often praised for his rather down-to-earth demeanour.

Appearing on the cover of Vogue Ukraine, he told the magazine: “To begin with, I don’t know what it’s like to be someone else, not a member of the royal family. I had a special, one might say privileged, childhood - and I really appreciate it. Now, I live an ordinary, very pleasant life. The only thing is that they always recognise me.”

Princess Eloise of the Netherlands

Eloise, fifth in line to the Dutch throne, is a countess and a granddaughter of former Queen Beatrix.

She’s also a very modern royal. Known as the ‘selfie queen’, she boasts 425,000 followers on Instagram alone - and appears to be using her platform for good.

Earlier this year, she shared a message to her Instagram fans to help promote sustainability in fashion.

As a true Gen Z-er, she's also established herself as an Instagram fashion and beauty influencer, selling vintage clothing.

Her career is the stuff wannabe ‘content creators’ dream of.

Earlier this year, Eloise appeared as a judge on the Dutch reality television show Nikkie’s Makeup Mansion where ten creative professionals compete to win a top prize.

In 2021, she also published a book, Learning By Doing, in which she wrote about food, travel and clothes, and answered questions from her social media fans.

She is the daughter of Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentian of the Netherlands and is the niece of reigning King Willem-Alexander.

Officially, Eloise is no longer a member of the core royal household after her grandmother Beatrix’s abdication in 2013. She doesn’t often discuss her aristocratic connections on social media but part of her appeal is certainly down to her very prestigious family ties.

Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg

Alexandra, 32, the only daughter of the Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg, was actually excluded from the small nation’s line of succession until 2011, when absolute primogeniture was adopted in respect to Grand Duke Henri's descendants.

In layman’s terms, that means only the firstborn of a royal leader could be crowned. Since that ruling came in, she is now sixth in line to the throne.

She has studied widely - at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in the United States and in Paris where she read philosophy.

Her Royal Highness Alexandra of Luxembourg and Nicolas Bagory leave their religious wedding on 29 April in Bormes-les-Mimosas, France
Her Royal Highness Alexandra of Luxembourg and Nicolas Bagory leave their religious wedding on 29 April in Bormes-les-Mimosas, France - Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images

Alexandra finished her studies at Trinity College, Dublin in 2017, where she won an award from the Irish School of Ecumenics for a degree in Interfaith Studies with a specialisation in conflict resolution.

She is known as a keen tennis player and volunteers helping to teach refugees.

The Princess announced her engagement to Nicolas Bagory in November 2022 and the pair were married in April this year.

Princess Alexandra of Hanover

Despite the slightly misleading title, Alexandra is actually 13th in line to the throne of the principality of Monaco.

The niece of Monaco’s reigning sovereign Albert II, she is the daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco, a long-time muse of the late Karl Lagerfeld.

Alexandra is also the granddaughter of the late, great actress Grace Kelly, although she died some 17 years before Alexandra was born.

The young royal has long established herself as an accomplished junior figure skater, even representing Monaco at the European Youth Olympics.

Alexandra of Hanover attends the Christian Dior Womenswear Spring/Summer 2023 show in Paris
Alexandra of Hanover attends the Christian Dior Womenswear Spring/Summer 2023 show in Paris - Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Like her famously stylish royal half-sister Charlotte Casiraghi, Alexandra has been building up a reputation as a fashionista and can often be spotted sitting front row at the shows of top designers like Stella McCartney, Dior and, naturally, Chanel.

On her father Ernst August von Hannover's side, she is a descendant of Britain’s Queen Victoria and King Christian IX of Denmark.

Prince Georg of Liechtenstein

As a member of the richest royal family in Europe and third in line to the throne, no less, Georg is often seen on ‘most eligible’ lists across the continent.

The second son of Alois, Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein and Sophie, Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein, he has two older siblings: Prince Joseph and Princess Marie-Caroline and one younger brother, Prince Nikolaus.

Sophie is excluded from the line of succession due to the fact she is a female and that is against the laws of Liechtenstein royals.

She or her siblings have little cause to be too distraught though, especially considering that his grandfather, reigning Prince Hans Adam II reported record assets of its LGT Group earlier this year.

The company is valued at a staggering 306 billion Swiss francs - that’s equivalent to about €318 billion.

Victoria de Marichalar y Borbón

For more information on the royal-of-the-moment Princess Leonor, you can read our deep dive here.

Her cousin, Spanish princess Victoria, is also a favourite of royal fans too.

Niece of reigning King Felipe VI, she is fifth in line to the throne of Spain after her cousins, Felipe's daughters Leonor and Infanta Sofía, her mother Infanta Elena and her brother, Felipe.

Considering the fact that she’s fairly unlikely to reign over Spain any time soon, the 23-year-old is taking the chance to make a name for herself on social media.

Thanks to her online presence - she boasts 264,000 followers on Instagram alone - she’s is swiftly becoming a top ‘It girl' on the European social scene.

ictoria Federica de Marichalar y Borbón attends a Moet & Chandon party in Madrid
ictoria Federica de Marichalar y Borbón attends a Moet & Chandon party in Madrid - Beatriz Velasco/Getty

Known for her love of fashion, she’s long been compared to her stylish aunt, Queen Letizia who was hailed as the best dressed at British monarchs’ Charles and Camilla’s coronation in May.

Victoria has also made a splash on TikTok with her appearance in a video posted by Spanish pop star Omar Montes racked up millions of views in just 24 hours.

She’s popular offline, too, often popping up at fashion weeks and partnering with prestigious brands like Longchamp on her social media posts.

Ferdinand Zvonimir von Habsburg, Royal Archduke of Austria

If the Austro-Hungarian empire still existed, Ferdinand would soon be ruling over that particular domain. However, his grandfather, Otto von Habsburg, was the last crown prince of Austria-Hungary ruling up until the dissolution of the empire in November 1918.

The Habsburg family are still hugely influential across Europe but Ferdinand has decided to make a name for himself in a rather unusual field.

As well as maintaining his position as the heir apparent to the dynasty, he is a successful motor racer, currently driving in the FIA World Endurance Championship with Team WRT and in the European Le Mans Series with Prema.

In 2021, Ferdinand won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship in the LMP2 class.

Despite the fact that he will, one day, become the head of the House of Habsburg, he seems pretty happy racing cars and cementing himself as a style icon for now.

Lady Louise Windsor

At just 19 years old - she turns 20 next week - Lady Louise Windsor is one of the least-known grandchildren of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

The eldest child of Prince Edward and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, Louise is currently studying English at St Andrew's University in Scotland, a favourite alma mater for royals.

Post-university, it’s not clear what Louise’s role in the royal family will be. King Charles has expressed his desire to ‘slim down’ the monarchy, so it seems as if Louise and her 15-year-old brother James will likely not take up the mantle of working royals in the future.

Lady Louise Windsor takes part in the 'Pol Roger Meet of The British Driving Society' at the 2023 Royal Windsor Horse Show
Lady Louise Windsor takes part in the 'Pol Roger Meet of The British Driving Society' at the 2023 Royal Windsor Horse Show - Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Perhaps we will see a very down-to-earth royal in Louise, who may well live a more ‘normal’ life with a job outside of the royal family.

Of course, all of these royals are so young that they have yet to fully establish themselves in society.

At the same time, there are constantly new noble births and so always somebody new for royal fans to focus on as British aristocrat Lady Victoria Hervey tells Euronews.

“Elisabeth of Belgium is young and elegant and recently in the scene and the ones to look out for in the future will be Prince Albert of Monaco’s twins and, of course, Prince William's children,” she says.