List of heads of state of Spain

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This is a list of Spanish Heads of State; that is, kings and presidents that governed the country of Spain in the modern sense of the word. The forerunners of the Spanish throne were the following:

These lineages were eventually united by the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. Although their kingdoms continued to be separate, with their personal union they ruled them together as one dominion. Ferdinand also conquered the southern part of Navarre and annexed it to what was to become Spain. Isabella left her kingdom to her daughter Joanna of Castile. Ferdinand served as her regent during her insanity; though rebuffed by the Castilian nobility and replaced by Joanna's husband Philip the Handsome, he resumed his regency after Philip's death. In 1516, after Ferdinand II's death, his daughter Joanna inherited the kingdom of Aragon, but was kept prisoner at Tordesillas as insane. As Joanna's son, the future Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, did not want to be merely a regent, he was proclaimed king of Castile and Aragon jointly with his mother in Brussels. Subsequently, Castilian and Aragonese Cortes alleged oath to him as co-king with his mother. Upon her death, he became sole King of Castile and Aragon, and the thrones were thereafter united permanently.

During the First Spanish Republic (1873–74), Spain had heads of state known as the President of the Executive Power. It is only during the Second Spanish Republic (1931–39), however, that the official title of President of Spain (or President of the Republic) existed. Today, Spain is a constitutional monarchy, and there is thus no person holding the title of President of Spain. However, the Prime Minister holds the official title of President of the Government.

Kingdom of Spain (1516–1873)[edit]

House of Habsburg (1516–1700)[edit]

Main article: Habsburg Spain

Under Charles I, the two thrones of Castile and Aragon were finally united under one monarch.

# Portrait Coat of arms Name Life Reign Titles Claim
1 Carlos I Y V.jpg Greater Coat of Arms of Charles I of Spain, Charles V as Holy Roman Emperor (1530-1556).svg Charles I (Emperor Charles V)
Carlos I, el César Carlos
February 24, 1500 - September 21, 1558 (aged 58) March 14, 1516 - January 16, 1556 son of Joanna of Castile, grandson of Isabella I and Ferdinand II
2 Portrait of Philip II of Spain by Sofonisba Anguissola - 002b.jpg Royal Coat of Arms of Spain (1580-1668).svg Philip II, the Prudent
Felipe II, el Prudente
May 21, 1527 - September 13, 1598 (aged 71) January 16, 1556 - September 13, 1598 son of Charles I
3 Philip III of Spain (1578 – 1621) - Google Art Project.jpg Royal Coat of Arms of Spain (1580-1668).svg Philip III, the Pious
Felipe III, el Piadoso
April 14, 1578 - March 31, 1621 (aged 42) September 13, 1598 - March 31, 1621
  • King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily and Sardinia
  • Duke of Milan
son of Philip II
4 Philip IV of Spain.jpg Royal Coat of Arms of Spain (1580-1668).svg Philip IV, the Great
Felipe IV, el Grande, el Rey Planeta
April 8, 1605 - September 17, 1665 (aged 60) March 31, 1621 - September 17, 1665
  • King of Spain, Portugal (until 1640), Naples, Sicily and Sardinia
  • Duke of Milan
  • Sovereign of the Netherlands and Count Palatine of Burgundy
son of Philip III
5 Rey Carlos II.jpg Royal Coat of Arms of Spain (1580-1668).svg Charles II, the Bewitched
Carlos II, el Hechizado
November 6, 1661 - November 1, 1700 (aged 38) September 17, 1665 - November 1, 1700 son of Philip IV

Disputed claimant

# Portrait Coat of arms Name Life Reign Titles Claim
6 Carles-III-de-Catalunya.jpg Coat of Arms of Charles II of Spain (1668-1700).svg Coat of Arms of Archduke Charles of Austria Claim to the Spanish throne (SpanishTerritories of the Crown of Aragon).svg Archduke Charles of Austria,
as Charles III
Archiduque Carlos, (Carlos III)
October 1, 1685 - October 20, 1740 (aged 55) September 12, 1703 - July 2, 1715
  • King of Spain, Naples, Sicily and Sardinia
  • Duke of Milan
  • Sovereign of the Netherlands
great-grandson of Philip III

In the year 1700 Charles II died. Charles' will named the 16-year old Philip, the grandson of Charles' sister Maria Theresa of Spain and King Louis XIV of France, as his successor to the whole Spanish Empire.[1] Upon any possible refusal of the undivided Spanish possessions, the Crown of Spain would be offered next to Philip's younger brother Charles, duc de Berry, or, next, to Archduke Charles of Austria.[1]

Archduke Charles of Austria had a legal right to the Spanish throne due to the fact that Charles's father, Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, was the son of Charles' aunt Maria Anna of Austria, but Philip still had the better claim because Philip's grandfather, King Louis XIV of France, was the son of Charles' aunt Anne of Austria, the older of the sisters of Philip IV. However, Philip IV had stipulated in his will the succession should pass to the Austrian Habsburg line, and the Austrian branch also claimed that Maria Theresa of Spain, Philip's grandmother, had renounced the Spanish throne for herself and her descendants as part of her marriage contract. This was countered by the French claim that it was on the basis of a dowry that had never been paid.[2]

Thus, the war broke out and Archduke Charles was proclaimed king of Spain, as Charles III, opposite to Philip V.[3] Charles renounced his claims to the Spanish throne in the Treaty of Rastatt of 1714, but was allowed the continued use of the styles of a Spanish monarch for his lifetime. Philip ascended the Spanish throne but forever renounced his claim to the throne of France for himself and his descendants.[4]

House of Bourbon (1700–1808)[edit]

# Portrait Coat of arms Name Life Reign Titles Claim
6 Felipe V de España.jpg Royal Greater Coat of Arms of Spain (1700-1761) Version with Golden Fleece and Holy Spirit Collars.svg Philip V, the Spirited
Felipe V, el Animoso
December 19, 1683 - July 9, 1746 (aged 62) November 16, 1700 - January 14, 1724 (abdicated in favor of his son) King of Spain great-grandson of Philip IV
7 Luis I, rey de España.jpg Royal Greater Coat of Arms of Spain (1700-1761) Version with Golden Fleece and Holy Spirit Collars.svg Louis I, the Beloved, the Liberal
Luis I, el Bien Amado, el Liberal
August 25, 1707 - August 31, 1724 (aged 17) January 14, 1724 - August 31, 1724 (ruled only 7 months before his death) King of Spain son of Philip V
8 Felipe V de España.jpg Royal Greater Coat of Arms of Spain (1700-1761) Version with Golden Fleece and Holy Spirit Collars.svg Philip V, the Spirited
Felipe V, el Animoso
December 19, 1683 - July 9, 1746 (aged 62) September 6, 1724 - July 9, 1746 (reinstated on death of his son) King of Spain father of Louis I
9 Rey Fernando VI.jpg Royal Greater Coat of Arms of Spain (1700-1761) Version with Golden Fleece and Holy Spirit Collars.svg Ferdinand VI, the Learned
Fernando VI, el Prudente, el Justo
September 23, 1713 - August 10, 1759 (aged 45) July 9, 1746 - August 10, 1759 King of Spain son of Philip V
10 Charles III of Spain high resolution.jpg Royal Greater Coat of Arms of Spain (1761-1868 and 1874-1931) Version with Golden Fleece and Order of Charles III Collars.svg Charles III, the Enlightened,
the King-Mayor
Carlos III, el Político
January 20, 1716 - December 14, 1788 (aged 72) August 10, 1759 - December 14, 1788 King of Spain son of Philip V
11 Charles IV of Spain.jpg Royal Greater Coat of Arms of Spain (1761-1868 and 1874-1931) Version with Golden Fleece and Order of Charles III Collars.svg Charles IV, the Hunter
Carlos IV, el Cazador
November 11, 1748 - January 20, 1819 (aged 70) December 14, 1788 - March 19, 1808 King of Spain son of Charles III
12 Ferdinand VII of Spain (1814) by Goya.jpg Royal Greater Coat of Arms of Spain (1761-1868 and 1874-1931) Version with Golden Fleece and Order of Charles III Collars.svg Ferdinand VII, the Desired,
The Felon King
Fernando VII, el Deseado, el Rey Felón
October 14, 1784 - September 29, 1833 (aged 48) March 19, 1808 - May 6, 1808 King of Spain son of Charles IV

House of Bonaparte (1808–1813)[edit]

The only monarch from this dynasty was Joseph I, imposed by his brother Napoleon I of France after Charles IV and Ferdinand VII had abdicated. The title used by Joseph was King of the Spains and the Indias, by divine grace and the Constitution of the State . He was also later given all of the titles of the previous kings. A government in opposition to the French was formed in Cádiz on 25 September 1808, which continued to recognize the imprisoned Ferdinand VII as king. This government was diplomatically recognized as the legitimate Spanish government by Britain and other countries at war with France.

# Portrait Coat of arms Name Life Reign Titles Claim
13 Joseph-Bonaparte.jpg Middle Coat of Arms of Joseph Bonaparte as King of Spain.svg Joseph I, the Intruder, Bottle Joe
José I, Pepe Botella
January 7, 1768 - July 28, 1844 (aged 76) June 6, 1808 - December 11, 1813
  • King of Spain
  • King of Naples and Sicily and the Indies
  • Comte de Survilliers
no relationship, unpopular appointee and elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte

House of Bourbon (1813–1868) (first restoration)[edit]

Charles IV's eldest son was restored to the throne. Again the title used was king of Castile, Leon, Aragon,… by divine grace.

# Portrait Coat of arms Name Life Reign Titles Claim
14 Fernando VII, by López.jpg Royal Greater Coat of Arms of Spain (1761-1868 and 1874-1931) Version with Golden Fleece and Order of Charles III Collars.svg Ferdinand VII, the Desired,
The Felon King
Fernando VII, el Deseado, el Rey Felón
October 14, 1784 - September 29, 1833 (aged 48) December 11, 1813 - September 29, 1833 (restored to power by Napoleon) King of Spain son of Charles IV
15 Isabel II reina de España.jpg Royal Greater Coat of Arms of Spain (1761-1868 and 1874-1931) Version with Golden Fleece and Order of Charles III Collars.svg Isabella II, the One with the Sad Destinies
Isabel II, la de los Tristes Destinos
October 10, 1830 - April 10, 1904 (aged 73) September 29, 1833 - September 30, 1868 Queen of Spain daughter of Ferdinand VII

House of Savoy (1870–1873)[edit]

After the Spanish Revolution of 1868 deposed Isabella II, there was established a provisional government and a regency headed by Francisco Serrano y Domínguez, who acted as Head of State, from October 8, 1868 until December 4, 1870 while it was requested a new monarch. Amadeo I was elected as king and the new title used was King of Spain, by divine grace and will of nation.

# Portrait Coat of arms Name Life Reign Titles Claim
15 Amadeo I, rey de España.jpg Coat of Arms of Spain (1871-1873) Golden Fleece Variant.svg Amadeo I, the Gentleman King, "King Macaroni"

Amadeo I, el Rey Caballero

May 30, 1845 - January 18, 1890 (aged 44) December 4, 1870 - February 11, 1873 King of Spain descendant of Philip II (through his grandson Thomas Francis) and of Charles III (through his son Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and his daughter Maria Luisa)

First Spanish Republic (1873–1874)[edit]

The First Spanish Republic started with the abdication as King of Spain on February 10, 1873 of Amadeo I, following the Hidalgo Affair, when he had been required by the radical government to sign a decree against the artillery officers. The next day, February 11, the republic was declared by a parliamentary majority made up of radicals, republicans and democrats. It lasted twenty-three months

Presidents of the Executive Power[edit]

# Portrait Coat of arms Name President From President Until Political Party
1 Estanislao Figueras.png Coat of Arms of Spain (1868-1870 and 1873-1874).svg Estanislao Figueras February 12, 1873 June 11, 1873 Federal republican
2 Francisco Pi y Margall.jpg Coat of Arms of Spain (1868-1870 and 1873-1874).svg Francisco Pi y Margall June 11, 1873 July 18, 1873 Federal republican
3 Nicolas Salmeron.jpg Coat of Arms of Spain (1868-1870 and 1873-1874).svg Nicolás Salmerón y Alonso July 18, 1873 September 7, 1873 Moderate republican
4 Castelar by Josep Nin i Tudó.jpg Coat of Arms of Spain (1868-1870 and 1873-1874).svg Emilio Castelar y Ripoll September 7, 1873 January 3, 1874 Unitary republican
5 General Serrano.jpg Coat of Arms of Spain (1868-1870 and 1873-1874).svg Francisco Serrano y Domínguez
Duke of la Torre
January 3, 1874 December 30, 1874 Conservative republican dictatorship

Kingdom of Spain (1874–1931)[edit]

House of Bourbon (1874–1931) (second restoration)[edit]

Isabella II's eldest son was restored to the throne. Constitutional king of Spain. Between the death of Alfonso XII and the birth of Alfonso XIII, there was an interregnum of seven months where Queen Maria Christina served as Head of State with the title of Regent.

# Portrait Coat of arms Name Life Reign Titles Claim
16 Alfonso XII a caballo (version).jpg Royal Greater Coat of Arms of Spain (1761-1868 and 1874-1931) Version with Golden Fleece and Order of Charles III Collars.svg Alfonso XII, the Peacemaker

Alfonso XII, el Pacificador

November 28, 1857 - November 25, 1885 (aged 27) December 30, 1874 - November 25, 1885 Constitutional King of Spain son of Isabella II
17 Alfonso XIII on boat.jpg Royal Greater Coat of Arms of Spain (1761-1868 and 1874-1931) Version with Golden Fleece and Order of Charles III Collars.svg Alfonso XIII, the African

Alfonso XIII, el Africano

May 17, 1886 - February 28, 1941 (aged 54) May 17, 1886 - April 14, 1931 Constitutional King of Spain son of Alfonso XII

Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939)[edit]

The Second Spanish Republic was the system of government in Spain between April 14, 1931 when King Alfonso XIII left the country following a period of social unrest after the collapse of General Primo de Rivera's dictatorship a year earlier, and April 1, 1939 when the last of the Republican (republicanos) forces surrendered to Nationalist (nacionales) forces led by Francisco Franco, at the end of the Spanish Civil War.

Presidents of the Republic[edit]

# Portrait Coat of arms Name President From President Until Political Party
1 Bundesarchiv Bild 102-12783, Alcala Zamora.jpg Coat of Arms of Spain (1931-1939)-Flag Variant.svg Niceto Alcalá-Zamora December 11, 1931 April 7, 1936 Conservative Republican
Martínez Barrio.JPG Coat of Arms of Spain (1931-1939)-Flag Variant.svg Diego Martínez Barrio
Interim
April 7, 1936 May 10, 1936 Republican Union Party
Popular Front coalition
2 President Azaña.jpg Coat of Arms of Spain (1931-1939)-Flag Variant.svg Manuel Azaña May 11, 1936 March 3, 1939 Republican Left
Popular Front coalition

Spanish Republican government in exile (1939–1977)[edit]

Presidents in exile

Francoist Spain (1936–1975)[edit]

On October 1, 1936 General Francisco Franco was proclaimed Head of State (Caudillo) in parts of Spain controlled by Nationalist (nacionales) forces after Spanish Civil War broke out. After the end of war on April 1, 1939 General Franco took control of the whole of Spain. In 1947, Franco proclaimed the restoration of the monarchy, but did not allow the pretender, Juan de Borbón, Count of Barcelona, to take the throne. In 1969, Franco declared that Juan Carlos, the Count of Barcelona's son, would be his successor. After Franco's death in 1975, Juan Carlos succeeded him as the King of Spain.

# Portrait Coat of arms Name Head of State From Head of State Until Political Party
Head of State (Caudillo)
1 Franco0001.PNG Coat of Arms of Francisco Franco as Head of the Spanish State.svg Francisco Franco October 1, 1936 November 20, 1975 Falange
Military
President of the Regency
2 No image.png Coat of Arms of Spain (1945-1977).svg Alejandro Rodríguez de Valcárcel November 20, 1975 November 22, 1975 Falange
Military

Kingdom of Spain (1975–present)[edit]

House of Bourbon (1975–present) (third restoration)[edit]

Alfonso XIII's claim descended (due to his two eldest sons' renunciations) to his third son, Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona, who was passed over in favour of his eldest son, whose title became King of Spain. The Count of Barcelona renounced his claims in favour of his son in 1977, two years after Franco's death and Juan Carlos's accession.

Juan Carlos abdicated in favor of his son Felipe VI, who became King on 19 June 2014, with Felipe's older daughter Infanta Leonor next in succession. [5]

# Portrait Coat of arms Name Life Reign Titles Claim
18 Busto de Juan Carlos I de España (2009).jpg Coat of Arms of Juan Carlos I of Spain.svg Juan Carlos I January 5, 1938 - (age 76) November 22, 1975 - June 19, 2014 King of Spain Grandson of Alfonso XIII, through his third son, Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona
19 Felipe VI, King of Spain.jpg Coat of Arms of Spanish Monarch.svg Felipe VI January 30, 1968 - (age 46) June 19, 2014 - Present King of Spain Son of Juan Carlos I

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kamen, Henry. "Philip V of Spain:: The King who Reigned Twice", p.6. Published by Yale University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-300-08718-7
  2. ^ Durant, Will. "The Age of Louis XIV", p.699. Simon and Schuster, New York 1963.
  3. ^ He was proclaimed in Vienna (LoveToKnow Free Online Encyclopedia), and also in Madrid in the years 1706 and 1710.
  4. ^ Kamen, Henry. "Philip V of Spain:: The King who Reigned Twice", p.158. Published by Yale University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-300-08718-7
  5. ^ "Leonor becomes a crown princess". El Pais. 

External links[edit]