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Felipe VI of Spain

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Title: Felipe VI of Spain  
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Subject: List of honours of the Spanish Royal Family by country, Juan Carlos I of Spain, Monarchy of Spain, Infanta Sofía of Spain, Order of the Golden Fleece
Collection: 1968 Births, 20Th-Century Roman Catholics, 20Th-Century Spanish People, 21St-Century Roman Catholics, 21St-Century Spanish People, Autonomous University of Madrid Alumni, Counts of Cervera, Dukes of Montblanc, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service Alumni, Felipe VI of Spain, Georgetown University Alumni, House of Bourbon (Spain), Lakefield College School Alumni, Living People, Lords of Balaguer, Nobility from Madrid, Olympic Sailors of Spain, People from Madrid, Princes of Asturias, Princes of Girona, Princes of Viana, Roman Catholic Monarchs, Royal Olympic Participants, Sailors at the 1992 Summer Olympics – Soling, Spanish Infantes, Spanish Monarchs, Spanish People of British Descent, Spanish People of Danish Descent, Spanish People of German Descent, Spanish People of Greek Descent, Spanish People of Russian Descent, Spanish Roman Catholics
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Felipe VI of Spain

Felipe VI
King of Spain (more)
Reign 19 June 2014 – present
Enthronement 19 June 2014
Predecessor Juan Carlos I
Heir presumptive Leonor
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy
Born (1968-01-30) 30 January 1968
Madrid, Spain
Spouse Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano (m. 2004)
Issue Leonor, Princess of Asturias
Infanta Sofía
Full name
Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos de Borbón y Grecia
House House of Bourbon[1][2]
Father Juan Carlos I of Spain
Mother Sofía of Greece and Denmark
Religion Roman Catholicism

Felipe VI (, Spanish: ;[1] born 30 January 1968) is the King of Spain. He ascended the throne on 19 June 2014 following the abdication of his father, King Juan Carlos I.[4][5][6] As heir apparent to the throne, he previously bore the title of Prince of Asturias, and worked to support philanthropic causes and to promote international fellowship among Spanish-speaking countries.

In accordance with the Spanish Constitution, as monarch, he is head of state and commander-in-chief of the Spanish Armed Forces,[7][8] and also plays a role in promoting relations with Hispanic America, the "nations of its historical community".[7][8] He is married to Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, with whom he has two daughters, Leonor and Sofía. Leonor, the elder, is his heir presumptive.


  • Birth and early life 1
  • Activities in Spain and abroad 2
  • Sports and participation in the Olympics 3
  • Family 4
    • Marriage and children 4.1
  • Godchildren 5
  • Social work 6
  • Reign 7
  • Titles, styles and arms 8
    • Arms 8.1
  • Ancestry 9
  • See also 10
  • Notes 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13

Birth and early life

Felipe was born in Madrid,[9] the third child and only son of Infante Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sofía of Greece and Denmark.[10] His full baptismal name, Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos, consists of the names of the first Bourbon King of Spain (Philip V), his grandfathers (Infante Juan of Spain and King Paul of Greece), his great-grandfather King Alfonso XIII of Spain, and of All the Saints (de Todos los Santos) as is customary among the Bourbons.[11] His godparents were his paternal grandfather Juan and his paternal great-grandmother, Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain.[9][11] Shortly after his birth he was styled infante, although his father was not yet king. The ruling dictator General Francisco Franco died just over two months before Felipe's eighth birthday, and Felipe's father ascended the throne. In his first official appearance, Felipe attended his father's proclamation as king on 22 November 1975.[10]

Felipe was formally created Prince of Asturias, along with the subsidiary titles of Prince of Girona and Prince of Viana, on 22 January 1977. On 1 November the same year, he was ceremonially installed as Prince of Asturias in Covadonga.[11] In 1981 Felipe received the Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece from his father, the Chief and Sovereign of the Order.[11] On 30 January 1986, at the age of 18, Felipe swore allegiance to the Constitution and to the King in the Spanish Parliament, fully accepting his constitutional role as successor to the Crown.[10]

Activities in Spain and abroad

Felipe meeting President Vladimir Putin of Russia, 2002

Felipe attended school at Santa María de los Rosales,[10] a modern school where he could fit in without special treatment, which his daughters currently attend. Felipe attended high school at Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece.[12]

Felipe undertook his constitutional duties assiduously as heir to the throne, hosting many official events in Spain and participating in all events of different sectors and aspects of Spanish public life as required. Since October 1995, Felipe has represented Spain on a series of official visits to the Spanish Autonomous Communities, starting with Valencia,[10] during which he made contact with Spaniards from all walks of life. Felipe has held regular meetings with constitutional bodies and state institutions keeping up-to-date with their activities.[11] He also attends meetings of the various bodies of the Central Administration and of the Autonomous Communities as required by his national and international constitutional obligations. Felipe has welcomed as many public and private audiences as possible to maintain Crown interaction in national and international affairs. In particular, he has held meetings with people of his generation who have built successful careers in political, economic, cultural and media circles. As part of his military training, Felipe trained as a military helicopter pilot.[11] On occasions when King Juan Carlos was unable to attend, Felipe presided over the annual presentation of dispatches to officers and non-commissioned officers in the Armed Forces as well as participating in military exercises held by the three Armed Services.[11]

Felipe and President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, 2010

Felipe has made many official visits to Europe and Latin America, as well as to countries in the Arab World, the Far East, and Australia, maintaining a special interest in all matters relating to the European Union, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa. Since January 1996, Felipe has represented the Spanish State at many Latin American presidents' inauguration ceremonies.[11] As Prince, he visited every country in Latin America except Cuba, and made over 200 foreign trips in total.[13] Felipe has also played a very active role in promoting Spain's economic, commercial and cultural interests and the Spanish language abroad. He frequently represents Spain at world economic and trade events (e.g. Expotecnia, Expoconsumo, and Expohabitat), and is especially interested in promoting the creation of Centres and University Chairs to advance the study of Spain both historically and in the present-day at major foreign universities.

Following the 11 March 2004 Madrid bombings, Felipe, along with his sisters Elena and Cristina, took part in a public demonstration.[10]

Felipe speaks Spanish, Catalan, French, English and some Greek.[14]

Sports and participation in the Olympics

Felipe was a member of the Spanish Olympic sailing team at the Barcelona Games in 1992. Felipe took part in the opening ceremony as the Spanish team's flag bearer. The Spanish crew finished in sixth place in the Soling class and obtained an Olympic diploma.[15]

Felipe has been a supporter of Atlético Madrid since watching them win the 1976 Copa del Generalísimo Final.[16]

Felipe, himself 197 cm (6 ft 5 12 in) in height, has attended Spanish, European, and Olympic basketball championships.[17][18][19]

Both his mother and uncle were on the Greek sailing team at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome (his mother as a substitute), and Felipe's father and sister were also Olympic sailors for Spain.[20]


Marriage and children

Felipe's bachelor years were a source of interest to the Spanish press for several years. His name was linked with several eligible women, but only two notable girlfriends: Spanish noblewoman Isabel Sartorius, around 1989 to 1991, daughter of Vicente Sartorius y Cabeza de Vaca, who was viewed unfavourably by the Royal Family due to her mother's cocaine addiction,[21] and Norwegian model Eva Sannum, who modelled underwear.[22] When Felipe finally began a serious relationship, nothing was suspected before the official announcement of the Prince's engagement on 1 November 2003 to Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, an award-winning television journalist formerly with CNN who had been married previously. The couple were married on the morning of 22 May 2004 in the Almudena Cathedral, Madrid, with members of several European royal families present.[10] The wedding was broadcast globally with over 25 million watching on television in Spain alone.

Felipe and Letizia have two daughters: Leonor, Princess of Asturias, born on 31 October 2005, and Infanta Sofía, born on 29 April 2007.[10]


Felipe has seven godchildren:

Social work

In addition to his official activities, Felipe serves as Honorary President of several associations and foundations, such as the Imperial Munitions Board, which finances economic and social development in Ibero-America and other countries,[11] and the Spanish branch of the Association of European Journalists, comprising outstanding communications professionals. Most noteworthy is the Príncipe de Asturias Foundation, where he presides annually at the international awards ceremony of the highly prestigious Prince of Asturias Awards bearing his name.[23][24]

Felipe was appointed a "UN-Eminent Person" by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in 2001, during its International Year of Volunteers,[25] and continues to make contributions internationally towards enhancing the importance of voluntary work.


Felipe VI in 2014, months before his accession to the throne.

On 2 June 2014, King Juan Carlos announced his intent to abdicate in Felipe's favour. Since the Congress of Deputies, the lower house of the Cortes Generales (Parliament). According to Jesús Posada, the President of the Congress of Deputies, Felipe could have been proclaimed king as early as 18 June.[26] On 4 June, El País of Madrid reported that Felipe would indeed be proclaimed king on 18 June.[6]

Felipe ascended the throne at the stroke of midnight on 19 June; his father had signed the formal instrument of abdication just hours earlier.[4] The next morning, after receiving the general's sash from his father, he was formally enthroned in a low-key ceremony held in the Cortes. He swore to uphold the Constitution before formally being proclaimed king by Posada.[27] Upon his accession, he became the youngest monarch in Europe, being nine months younger than King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.

As king, Felipe has fairly extensive reserve powers on paper. He is the guardian of the Constitution, responsible for ensuring it is obeyed. While he is nominally chief executive, it is expected that he will follow his father's practice of taking a mostly ceremonial and representative role, acting largely on the advice of the government. He indicated as much in a speech to the Cortes on the day of his enthronement, saying that he would be "a loyal head of state who is ready to listen and understand, warn and advise as well as to defend the public interest at all times".[27] A poll conducted by El País, however, indicates that a majority of Spaniards wish that Felipe play a greater role in politics, with 75% of the 600 surveyed people stating that they would approve if he personally pushed the political parties to reach agreements on national problems.[28] According to an El Mundo newspaper poll, Felipe had a greater approval than his father prior to his reign.[29]

In June 2014, Felipe and Letizia became the first Spanish monarchs to receive and recognize

Felipe VI of Spain
Born: 30 January 1968
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Juan Carlos
King of Spain
Heir presumptive:
Leonor, Princess of Asturias
Spanish royalty
Title last held by
Alfonso of Bourbon
Prince of Asturias
Prince of Viana

Succeeded by
Leonor of Bourbon
Title last held by
Charles of Austria
Prince of Girona, Duke of Montblanc,
Count of Cervera, Lord of Balaguer

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Infanta Cristina
Flagbearer for  Spain
Succeeded by
Luis Doreste
  • Profile on the official website of the Spanish Monarchy (Spanish)
  • Prince of Asturias Foundation
  • Biography of Felipe VI of Spain by CIDOB

External links

  1. ^ "His Majesty the King Juan Carlos". The Royal Household of His Majesty the King. Archived from the original on 18 February 2011. 
  2. ^ The English-language version of the Official Royal Family website is rendered as "Borbon", while in Spanish it is rendered as "Borbón". In English, the house is traditionally called House of Bourbon.
  3. ^ e.g. New Statesman
  4. ^ a b "Felipe takes over as king of Spain". BBC News. 18 June 2014. 
  5. ^ Govan, Fiona (13 June 2014). "Spain will have two kings and two queens". The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Garea, Fernando; Fabra, María (3 June 2014). "Coronation of Prince Felipe to take place on June 18". El Pais. 
  7. ^ a b (Spanish) Título II. De la Corona. Retrieved on 21 June 2014.
  8. ^ a b Title II, Article 56, Subsection 1, Text:
    The King is the Head of State, the symbol of its unity and permanence. He arbitrates and moderates the regular functioning of the institutions, assumes the highest representation of the Spanish State in international relations, especially with the nations of its historical community, and exercises the functions expressly conferred on him by the Constitution and the laws
    El Rey es el Jefe del Estado, símbolo de su unidad y permanencia, arbitra y modera el funcionamiento regular de las instituciones, asume la más alta representación del Estado español en las relaciones internacionales, especialmente con las naciones de su comunidad histórica, y ejerce las funciones que le atribuyen expresamente la Constitución y las leyes
  9. ^ a b "Don Felipe de Borbón, principe de Asturias" (in Spanish). El Pais. 22 January 1977. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h "Casa de Su Majestad el Rey de España – Actividades y Agenda – Hitos más importantes de Su Alteza Real el Príncipe de Asturias" (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Casa de Su Majestad el Rey de España – S.M. el Rey Don Felipe VI" (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  12. ^ Eilers, Marlene (1997) Queen Victoria's Daughters. Rosvall Royal Books, Falkoping, Sweden. ISBN 91-630-5964-9
  13. ^ "King Felipe VI gets to work by holding first meeting with PM". El Pais. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  14. ^ "Barcelona – A Viewer's Guid: The Sports; Felipe Hoists Flag for Spain." The New York Times (19 July 1992). Retrieved on 21 June 2014.
  15. ^ Cuyàs, Romà (1992). Official Report of the Games of the XXV Olympiad Barcelona 1992, Volume V The Results (PDF). Plaça de la Font Màgica, s/n 08038 Barcelonal: COOB'92 S.A. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  16. ^ Simón, Pedro (6 June 2014). "Un atlético en la corte del Rey Felipe" [An Atlético in King Felipe's court].  
  17. ^ "King Felipe attends basketball final". Royalista (in en-US). 2015-02-23. Retrieved 2015-10-23. 
  18. ^ "His Majesty the King of Spain attends Turkish Airlines Euroleague Championship Game". Euroleague. 2015-05-17. Retrieved 2015-10-23. 
  19. ^ "David Beckham and his boys attend nail-biting Olympic basketball final". Mail Online. Daily Mail. 2012-08-12. Retrieved 2015-10-23. 
  20. ^ Felipe, Crown Prince de Borbón. Retrieved on 21 June 2014.
  21. ^ (Spanish) Isabel Sartorius se desnuda en un libro de memorias: Mi madre me mandaba a comprar cocaína. (21 February 2012). Retrieved on 21 June 2014.
  22. ^ (Spanish) Eva Sannum, así es su vida quince años después. (4 October 2012). Retrieved on 21 June 2014.
  23. ^ Fundación Príncipe de Asturias.
  24. ^ Premios Príncipe de Asturias – Fundación Príncipe de Asturias. Retrieved on 21 June 2014.
  25. ^ "Marking End of International Year of Volunteers, General Assembly Encourages All People To Become More Engaged in Voluntary Activities". 2001. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  26. ^ "Spanish politicians lay out abdication timetable". BBC News. 3 June 2014. 
  27. ^ a b "King Felipe VI calls for 'new Spain' as he is sworn in". BBC News. 19 June 2014. 
  28. ^ O'Leary, Elisabeth (22 June 2014). "Spaniards want new king to play greater role in politics: poll". Reuters. 
  29. ^ "Spanish king abdicating so more popular 'new generation' Crown Prince Felipe can take over". Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  30. ^ "Los reyes reciben por primera vez a colectivos gays en el Palacio del Pardo [The monarchs receive gay organisations for the first time at the Pardo Palace]" (in Spanish).  
  31. ^ "Felipe VI cambia el protocolo y permite la jura del cargo sin Biblia ni crucifijo [Felipe VI changes the protocol and permits the oath of office without a Bible or crucifix]".  
  32. ^ "Comunicato della Sala Stampa: Udienza alle Loro Maestà il Re Felipe VI e la Regina Letizia di Spagna, 30.06.2014" (in Italian).  
  33. ^ "Spanish King cuts his salary by 20 %". Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  34. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado: no. 19, p. 1542, 22 January 1977. (Spanish)
  35. ^ Badía, Juan Ferrano. Dictamen sobre el título de Príncipe de Gerona (PDF), Cultural Council of the Autonomous Community of Valencia, 1990. (Spanish)
  36. ^ """Los expertos no dan por seguro que el nuevo rey se llame Felipe VI: "Sería conveniente un nombre aséptico como Felipe Juan I. La Sexta. Retrieved 24 August 2014. 
  37. ^ (Spanish) Royal Cadency of Spain-Standards. Blog de Heráldica – 1 November 2010. (Retrieved 10 October 2012)
  38. ^ "Felipe VI ya cuenta con escudo y guión propios" [Felipe VI has his own coat of arms and guindon]. (in Spanish). 19 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 


  1. ^ Most English-language media refer to the king as Felipe VI, although a few sources have rendered his name as Philip VI.[3] In the languages of Spain, his name is:


See also


Arms of Felipe VI of Spain
The King of Spain's blazon of arms is set out in Title II, Rule 1, of Spanish Royal Decree 1511 of 21 January 1977, by which the Rules for Flags, Standards, Guidons, Banners, and Badges were adopted.
Spanish Royal Crown
Quarterly: Castile, León, Aragon, and Navarre; enté en point: Granada; inescutcheon Bourbon (Anjou Branch)
Order of the Golden Fleece
The King's personal Royal Standard is a crimson square with his coat of arms.[37][38]
The first quarter represents Castile, the second León, the third Aragon and the fourth Navarre; enté en point the arms of Granada and en surtout the inescutcheon of the ancestral arms of the sovereign House of Bourbon-Anjou
Previous versions

Coat of arms as Heir apparent to the Spanish Throne (2001–2014)

"The Spanish royal arms differenced with a label of three points azure and surrounded by the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece As crest the crown of heir to the throne, decorated with four half-arches."


Upon ascending the throne, Felipe assumed the same titles held by his father.

Though Juan Carlos held no official title or post in Spain, Felipe was registered in the Civil Registry as Infante when he was born, with the style of Royal Highness. About a year later, General Franco recognised Juan Carlos as the future successor to the headship of state and bestowed upon him the title of Prince of Spain. Thus, Felipe became second-in-line in the line of succession to the vacant throne. Juan Carlos became king in 1975, but no title was conferred on Felipe as heir apparent until 2 January 1977, when he was created Prince of Asturias, the title normally held by the heir to the Spanish throne, by a Royal Decree which also entitled him to use "the other historical titles corresponding to the heir of the Crown".[34] Legally granted in 1977, Felipe started using the Aragonese-Catalan title of Prince of Girona publicly on 21 April 1990, during a trip around Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia, becoming the first Bourbon to use this title.[35] Later, he did the same thing with the Princedom of Viana in Navarre, and the titles of Duke of Montblanc, Count of Cervera and Lord of Balaguer in their respective places. If the former Kingdoms of Aragon and Navarre had separate naming styles, he would also be known as Felipe V of Aragon and Felipe VII of Navarre along with Felipe VI of Castile.[36]

  • 30 January 1968 – 22 January 1977: His Royal Highness Infante Felipe of Spain
  • 22 January 1977 – 19 June 2014: His Royal Highness The Prince of Asturias
    • in former Crown of Aragon territories: 22 January 1977 – 19 June 2014: His Royal Highness The Prince of Girona
    • in former Kingdom of Navarre territories: 22 January 1977 – 19 June 2014: His Royal Highness The Prince of Viana
  • 19 June 2014 – present: His Majesty The King
Royal monogram of King Felipe VI

Titles, styles and arms

In February 2015, Felipe announced that he would cut his salary by 20%.[33]

[32], under-secretary for Relations with States. The visit followed one by King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía on 28 April.Antoine Camilleri, accompanied by Mgsr. Pietro Parolin Cardinal Secretary of State on 30 June 2014, in the Apostolic Palace. They subsequently met with Pope Francis In their first overseas trip as monarchs, Felipe VI and Queen Letizia met [31] Felipe also changed the protocol in order to allow people to take the oath of office without a crucifix or Bible.[30]

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