Felipe, Prince of Asturias

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Prince of Asturias (more)
Felipe de Borbón en Ecuador.jpg
The Prince of Asturias in 2013.
Spouse Letizia, Princess of Asturias
(m. 2004)
Infanta Leonor of Spain
Infanta Sofía of Spain
Full name
Philip John Paul Alphonse of All Saints
Spanish: Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos
House House of Bourbon[1][2]
Father Juan Carlos I of Spain
Mother Sophia of Greece and Denmark
Born (1968-01-30) 30 January 1968 (age 46)
Madrid, Spain
Religion Roman Catholicism

Felipe, Prince of Asturias (Spanish pronunciation: [feˈlipe], baptised as Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos de Borbón y de Grecia; English: Philip John Paul Alphonsus of All Saints of Bourbon and Greece; born 30 January 1968), is the third child and only son of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía of Spain.

As heir apparent to the Spanish throne he bears the official titles of Prince of Asturias, Prince of Gerona, Prince of Viana, Duke of Montblanc, Count of Cervera and Lord of Balaguer.

Birth and early life[edit]

Felipe was born in Madrid. His full name is Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos de Borbón y de Grecia. The symbolic names given at his baptism, by the Archbishop of Madrid Casimiro Morcillo González included the names of the first Bourbon to reign in Spain; his grandfathers (Juan, Count of Barcelona, 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. Short after his birth he was titled as Infante of Spain, as his father was not yet king and Felipe was not yet heir apparent. His godparents were his paternal grandfather, Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona, and his paternal great-grandmother, Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg.

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 institutional role as successor to the Crown.

Activities in Spain and abroad[edit]

Prince Felipe meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin on 7 February 2002.

Felipe started school at Santa Maria de los Rosales, a modern day school where he could fit in without special treatment, the same school his daughters currently attend. Felipe attended high school at Lakefield College School in Ontario, Canada, and studied in the Autonomous University of Madrid, where he earned a degree in Law. He also completed several courses on economics. He completed his academic studies by obtaining a Master of Science in Foreign Service degree from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he was the roommate of his cousin, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, Prince of Denmark. Felipe has fulfilled his institutional commitments in his capacity as Heir to the Crown, chaired many official events in Spain, and participated in key events in different sectors and aspects of Spanish public life. Since October 1995, Felipe has made a series of official visits to the Spanish Autonomous Communities with a view to gaining in-depth knowledge of Spain and making contact with other Spaniards. Felipe holds regular meetings with constitutional bodies and the main state institutions in order to keep in touch with their activities. He also attends meetings of the various bodies of the Central Administration and of the Autonomous Communities as required by his national and international institutional activities. Felipe grants public and private audiences to a large number of people with a view to receiving up-to-date information on national and international affairs. In particular, he holds meetings with people close to his own generation with outstanding careers in political, economic, cultural and media circles. When King Juan Carlos is unable to attend, Felipe presides over the annual presentation of dispatches to Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of the Armed Forces and participates in military exercises held by the three services.

He has made many official visits to European countries and to Latin America, as well as to countries in the Arab world, the Far East, and Australia. He shows special interest in all matters related to the European Union, the Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America. Since January 1996, Felipe has represented the Spanish State at the swearing-in ceremonies for many Latin American presidents. Felipe has also played a very active role in the promotion of Spain's economic and commercial interests and of Spanish language and culture in foreign countries. He frequently presides at economic and trade fairs held by Spain abroad (Expotecnia, Expoconsumo, and Expohabitat), and is especially interested in promoting the creation of Centres and University Chairs to disseminate the history and current situation of Spain in major foreign universities.

Gregarious and outgoing, Felipe speaks Spanish, Catalan, French, English and some Greek.[3]

Participation in the Olympics[edit]

Felipe was a member of the Olympic sailing team at the Barcelona Games in 1992, which recalled his mother's and uncle's position on the Greek sailing team in 1963. He also took part in the opening ceremony as the Spanish team's flag bearer. He finished in sixth place in the soling class and obtained an Olympic diploma.


Marriage and children[edit]

The bachelorhood of Felipe was an issue in the Spanish press for several years. His name was linked with several eligible women, but only two with any conviction: Spanish noblewoman Isabel Sartorius, around 1989 to 1991, daughter of Vicente Sartorius y Cabeza de Vaca who was not viewed favorably by the Royal Family due to her mother's cocaine addiction[4] and Norwegian model Eva Sannum, who had modeled underwear, something favored by neither the Spanish people nor the Royal Family.[citation needed] When Felipe finally began a serious relationship, nothing was suspected before the official announcement. On 1 November 2003 the Prince's engagement to Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, an award-winning television journalist formerly with CNN, was proclaimed. Despite the fact she had been civilly married and then divorced, the public generally approved of Letizia since she represented the modern woman—independent, cultured, and accomplished in her profession. The couple married on the morning of 22 May 2004 in the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, with members of several European royal families attending. Ortiz had previously been married to Alonso Guerrero, a teacher and author; they were divorced in 1999. The wedding was watched by more than 25 million television viewers in Spain alone, and was broadcast throughout the world.

The couple has two daughters:


Public protest[edit]

After the 11 March 2004, Madrid bombings, Felipe, along with his sisters Elena and Cristina took part in a public protest.

Social work[edit]

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

Within the framework of these institutions which work towards aims of general interest, Felipe focuses his interest on activities in the fields of development projects, voluntary work, the environment, universities, the integration of young people in the workplace and business, relations between business circles and society and social communication.

On the occasion of the United Nations declaration of 2001 as the International Year of Volunteers, the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, named Felipe an "Eminent Person" so that he could contribute on an international level towards enhancing the importance of voluntary workers.

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

  • 30 January 1968 – 22 January 1977: His Royal Highness The Infante Felipe of Spain
  • 22 January 1977 – present: His Royal Highness The Prince of Asturias
    • in former Crown of Aragon territories: 22 January 1977 – present: His Royal Highness The Prince of Girona
    • in former Kingdom of Navarre territory: 22 January 1977 – present: His Royal Highness The Prince of Viana

When Felipe was born, his father did not have any official title or post in Spain, but he was registered in the Civil Registry as infante, with the style of Royal Highness. About a year after his birth, General Franco recognized Juan Carlos as his future successor to the headship of state and bestowed him the title of Prince of Spain. Thus, Felipe became second-in-line in the line of succession to the vacant throne.

The Prince and Princess of Asturias visit the Paranal Observatory.

Juan Carlos became king in 1975, but no title was conferred to 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".[5] Rarely used, the Prince's style and title in full is: His Royal Highness the Most Serene Infante Don Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos de Borbón y Grecia, Prince of Asturias, Prince of Girona, Prince of Viana, Duke of Montblanc, Count of Cervera and Lord of Balaguer. Although legally warranted since 1977, Felipe started to use in public the Aragonese-Catalan title of Prince of Girona on 21 April 1990, during a trip around Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia, becoming the first Bourbon to use this title.[6] 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 appropriate places. If Prince Felipe succeeds to the throne and uses his first given name as his regnal name, he would be known as Felipe VI (Philip VI).



See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.casareal.es/sm_rey/index-iden-idweb.html
  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. ^ The New York Times
  4. ^ "La Reina no tuvo la culpa de mi ruptura con el Príncipe". El Pais. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado: no. 19, p. 1542, 22 January 1977. (Spanish)
  6. ^ Badía, Juan Ferrano. Dictamen sobre el título de Príncipe de Gerona, Cultural Council of the Autonomous Community of Valencia, 1990. (Spanish)

External links[edit]

Felipe, Prince of Asturias
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 30 January 1968
Spanish royalty
Title last held by
Alfonso of Bourbon
Prince of Asturias
Prince of Viana

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

Lines of succession
First in line Line of succession
to the Spanish throne

1st position
Succeeded by
Infanta Leonor
Preceded by
The King of Spain
Legitimist line of succession
to the French throne

4th position
Succeeded by
The Duke of Seville
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Infanta Cristina
Flagbearer for  Spain
Barcelona 1992
Succeeded by
Luis Doreste