Felipe VI of Spain
|King of Spain (more)|
|Reign||19 June 2014 – present|
|Enthronement||19 June 2014|
|Predecessor||Juan Carlos I|
|Prime Minister||Mariano Rajoy|
|Spouse||Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano (2004–present)|
|Issue||Leonor, Princess of Asturias
|House||House of Bourbon|
|Father||Juan Carlos I of Spain|
|Mother||Sofía of Greece and Denmark|
30 January 1968 |
|Spanish Royal Family|
|HM The King
HM The Queen
Felipe VI (/ /, Spanish: [feˈlipe];[a] born 30 January 1968) is the King of Spain. He succeeded to the throne on 19 June 2014 following the abdication of his father, King Juan Carlos I. 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, and also plays a role in promoting relations with Hispanic America, the "nations of its historical community". 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
Felipe was born in Madrid, the third child and only son of Infante Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sofía of Greece and Denmark. 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. His godparents were his paternal grandfather Juan and his paternal great-grandmother, Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain. 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.
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. In 1981 Felipe received the Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece from his father, the Chief and Sovereign of the Order. 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.
Activities in Spain and abroad
Felipe attended school at Santa María de los Rosales, a modern school where he could fit in without special treatment, which his daughters currently attend. Felipe attended high school at Lakefield College School in Ontario, Canada, and studied at the Autonomous University of Madrid, where he graduated with a degree in Law; he also completed several courses in 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.
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, 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. 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. 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.
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. As Prince, he visited every country in Latin America except Cuba, and made over 200 foreign trips in total. 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.
Sports and participation in the Olympics
Felipe was a member of the Spanish Olympic sailing team at the Barcelona Games in 1992. Both his mother and uncle were on the Greek sailing team at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome (his mother being selected as a substitute), and Felipe's father and sister were also Olympic sailors for Spain.  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.
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, and Norwegian model Eva Sannum, who modelled underwear. 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. The wedding was broadcast globally with over 25 million watching on television in Spain alone.
Felipe has seven godchildren, they are: Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover (born 1983, son of Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover (born 1954)), Prince Constantine Alexios of Greece (born 1998, son of Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece), Princess Sofia of Bulgaria (born 1999, daughter of Prince Konstantin-Assen of Bulgaria), Miguel Urdangarín y de Borbón (born 2002, Felipe's nephew through his sister, Infanta Cristina), Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway (born 2004, daughter of Crown Prince Haakon of Norway), Luis Felipe Gómez-Acebo y Ponte (born 2005, son of his cousin Luis Beltrán Ataúlfo Alfonso Gómez-Acebo y de Borbón; Luis Beltrán is the son of Infanta Pilar), and Prince Vincent of Denmark (born 2011, son of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark).
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, 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.
Felipe was appointed a "UN-Eminent Person" by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in 2001, during its International Year of Volunteers, and continues to make contributions internationally towards enhancing the importance of voluntary work.
On 2 June 2014, Juan Carlos announced his intent to abdicate in Felipe's favour. Since the Constitution of Spain did not provide a specific mechanism for abdication and royal succession, the Spanish Cabinet began deliberations on an organic law to regulate Felipe's succession on 3 June. The law had to be passed by a majority of all members of 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. On 4 June, El País of Madrid reported that Felipe would indeed be proclaimed king on 18 June.
Felipe ascended the throne at the stroke of midnight on 19 June; his father had signed the formal instrument of abdication just hours earlier. 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. 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". 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. According to an El Mundo newspaper poll, Felipe had a greater approval than his father prior to his reign.
In June 2014, Felipe and Letizia became the first Spanish monarchs to receive and recognize LGBT organisations at the Palace. Felipe also changed the protocol in order to allow people to take the oath of office without a crucifix or Bible. In their first overseas trip as monarchs, Felipe VI and Queen Letizia met Pope Francis on 30 June 2014, in the Apostolic Palace. They subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Mgsr. Antoine Camilleri, under-secretary for Relations with States. The visit followed one by King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía on 28 April.
In February 2015, Felipe announced that he would cut his salary by 20%.
Titles, styles and arms
- 30 January 1968 – 22 January 1977: His Royal Highness Infante Felipe of Spain
- 22 January 1977 – 18 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
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". 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. 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.
Upon ascending the throne, Felipe assumed the same titles held by his father.
"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."
- Most English-language media refer to the king as Felipe VI, although a few sources have rendered his name as Philip VI. In the languages of Spain, his name is:
- "His Majesty the King Juan Carlos". The Royal Household of His Majesty the King. Archived from the original on 18 February 2011.
- 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.
- e.g. New Statesman
- "Felipe takes over as king of Spain". BBC News. 18 June 2014.
- Govan, Fiona (13 June 2014). "Spain will have two kings and two queens". The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
- Garea, Fernando; Fabra, María (3 June 2014). "Coronation of Prince Felipe to take place on June 18". El Pais.
- (Spanish) Título II. De la Corona. Es.wikisource.org. Retrieved on 21 June 2014.
- 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
- "Don Felipe de Borbón, principe de Asturias" (in Spanish). El Pais. 22 January 1977. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Casa de Su Majestad el Rey de España – Actividades y Agenda – Hitos más importantes de Su Alteza Real el Príncipe de Asturias" (in Spanish). Casareal.es. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Casa de Su Majestad el Rey de España – S.M. el Rey Don Felipe VI" (in Spanish). Casareal.es. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- Eilers, Marlene (1997) Queen Victoria's Daughters. Rosvall Royal Books, Falkoping, Sweden. ISBN 91-630-5964-9
- "King Felipe VI gets to work by holding first meeting with PM". El Pais. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Barcelona – A Viewer's Guid: The Sports; Felipe Hoists Flag for Spain." The New York Times (19 July 1992). Retrieved on 21 June 2014.
- Felipe, Crown Prince de Borbón. Sports-reference.com. Retrieved on 21 June 2014.
- 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.
- Simón, Pedro (6 June 2014). "Un atlético en la corte del Rey Felipe" [An Atlético in King Felipe's court]. El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- (Spanish) Isabel Sartorius se desnuda en un libro de memorias: Mi madre me mandaba a comprar cocaína. www.lavanguardia.com (21 February 2012). Retrieved on 21 June 2014.
- (Spanish) Eva Sannum, así es su vida quince años después. www.diezminutos.es (4 October 2012). Retrieved on 21 June 2014.
- Fundación Príncipe de Asturias. casareal.es
- Premios Príncipe de Asturias – Fundación Príncipe de Asturias. Fpa.es. Retrieved on 21 June 2014.
- "Marking End of International Year of Volunteers, General Assembly Encourages All People To Become More Engaged in Voluntary Activities". Un.org. 2001. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Spanish politicians lay out abdication timetable". BBC News. 3 June 2014.
- "King Felipe VI calls for 'new Spain' as he is sworn in". BBC News. 19 June 2014.
- O'Leary, Elisabeth (22 June 2014). "Spaniards want new king to play greater role in politics: poll". Reuters.
- "Spanish king abdicating so more popular 'new generation' Crown Prince Felipe can take over". Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- "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). La Sexta. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
- "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]". El País (in Spanish). 9 July 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
- "Comunicato della Sala Stampa: Udienza alle Loro Maestà il Re Felipe VI e la Regina Letizia di Spagna, 30.06.2014" (in Italian). Vatican City. 30 June 2014.
- "Spanish King cuts his salary by 20 %". Retrieved 13 February 2015.
- Boletín Oficial del Estado: no. 19, p. 1542, 22 January 1977. (Spanish)
- Badía, Juan Ferrano. Dictamen sobre el título de Príncipe de Gerona (PDF), Cultural Council of the Autonomous Community of Valencia, 1990. (Spanish)
- "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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Felipe VI of Spain.|
- Profile on the official website of the Spanish Monarchy (Spanish)
- Prince of Asturias Foundation
- Biography of Felipe VI of Spain by CIDOB
Felipe VI of SpainBorn: 30 January 1968
|King of Spain
Leonor, Princess of Asturias
Title last held byAlfonso of Bourbon
|Prince of Asturias
Prince of Viana
Leonor of Bourbon
Title last held byCharles of Austria
|Prince of Girona, Duke of Montblanc,
Count of Cervera, Lord of Balaguer
|Flagbearer for Spain