Prince of Asturias

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"Principe de Asturias" redirects here. For the former flagship, see Principe de Asturias (R11). For the ocean liner, see Príncipe de Asturias (ocean liner).
Princess of Asturias
Princesa de Asturias
Coat of Arms of Leonor, Princess of Asturias.svg
Leonor, Princess of Asturias

since 19 June 2014
Style Her Royal Highness
Residence The Prince’s Pavilion
at the Zarzuela Palace
Appointer The King of Spain
Term length Life tenure or until accession as Queen of Spain
Inaugural holder Henry III of Castile
Formation 1388

Prince or Princess of Asturias (Spanish: Príncipe de Asturias, Asturian: Príncipe d'Asturies) under the Spanish Constitution of 1978, is the historical and official title given to the heir to the Spanish throne. It was also the title under the earlier Crown of Castile. The current heir to the Spanish throne, therefore Princess of Asturias is Leonor, Princess of Asturias, daughter of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain. Other associated titles originate from some of the other kingdoms that formed Spain: Prince of Viana (for Navarre), Prince of Girona (for Aragon), Duke of Montblanc (for Catalonia), Count of Cervera (for Valencia) and Lord of Balaguer (for Majorca).

Military dictator Francisco Franco appointed Juan Carlos de Borbón as his "successor with the title of King" but gave him the new title of Prince of Spain instead of Prince of Asturias.

King Felipe VI, during his tenure as Prince of Asturias, instituted what is now called the Princess of Asturias Awards, since the incumbent heir to the Spanish throne is Princess Leonor.

Príncipe de Asturias Peak in Vinson Massif, Antarctica is named after the Prince of Asturias.


After the death of King Peter of Castile in 1369, the kingdom was drawn yet deeper in a civil war, disputes and long rivalled between English claimant, John, Duke of Lancaster, and two successive Trastámara claimants, Kings Henry II of Castile and his son John I of Castile. After two decades of conflicts of varying intensity, the parties arrived at compromise through means of marriage: the future Henry III of Castile (1379–1406) was married to Catherine of Lancaster in 1388. A part of the pact ("Accord of Bayonne") was to elevate the young couple to a title, Prince and Princess of Asturias, which was modelled after that of Prince of Wales in England. The title was to belong to the official successor of the Castilian throne. Thus the first Prince and Princess of Asturias were the young Henry of Castile and Catherine of Lancaster.

In the first years the title was not only honorary, as it included the ownership of the territory of Asturias; the Prince ruled the Principality in representation of the King and was able to appoint judges, mayors, etc. This was changed by the Catholic Monarchs, who limited the scope of the title making it merely honorary; this decision was upheld by the members of the House of Habsburg and the House of Bourbon until the present day.


Image Name Heir to From Until
Year Cause
Segovia Alcazar stained glass 05.jpg Henry of Castile
John I
1388 1390 ascended the throne as Henry III
Burgos - Cartuja de Miraflores - Tumba de Juan II de Castilla.jpg John of Castile
Henry III
1405 1406 ascended the throne as John II
Enrique IV.jpg Henry of Castile
John II
1425 1454 ascended the throne as Henry IV
Cartuja de Miraflores (Burgos) - Tumba de Alfonso de Castilla - Detalle.jpg Alfonso of Castile
Henry IV
1465 1468 died
Juan of Spain1.jpeg John of Aragon
Isabella I
1480 1497 died
Charles V. - after Bernaerd van Orley - depot Louvre-Musée de Brou, Bourg-en-Bresse.jpg Charles of Austria
1504 1516 ascended the throne as Charles I
Philip II of Spain (young, French School).jpg Philip of Austria
Charles I and Joanna
(father and grandmother)
1528 1556 ascended the throne as Philip II
Alonso Sánchez Coello 005.jpg Carlos of Austria
Philip II
1560 1568 died
Alonso Sánchez Coello - Portrait of Infante Ferdinand of Spain - Walters 37551.jpg Ferdinand of Austria
1573 1578 died
DiegoSpanien.jpg Diego of Austria
1580 1582 died
Juan Pantoja de la Cruz 002.jpg Philip of Austria
1584 1598 ascended the throne as Philip III
Philip IV of Spain as Prince of Asturias, Bartolome Gonzalez y Serrano 003.jpg Philip of Austria
Philip III
1608 1621 ascended the throne as Philip IV
Diego Velázquez 070.jpg Balthasar Charles of Austria
Philip IV 1632 1646 died
Prince Philip Prospero by Diego Velázquez.jpg Philip Prosper of Austria
1658 1661 died
Retrato ecuestre de Carlos II niño.jpg Charles of Austria
1661 1665 ascended the throne as Charles II
Luis I, príncipe de Asturias.jpg Louis of Spain
Philip V 1709 1724 ascended the throne
Fernando6.jpg Ferdinand of Spain
1724 1746 ascended the throne as Ferdinand VI
Anton Raphael Mengs, Prince of Asturias, Future Charles IV of Spain (са 1765) - 02.jpg Charles of Spain
Charles III
1760 1788 ascended the throne as Charles IV
Fernando de Borbón, príncipe de Asturias.jpg Ferdinand of Spain
Charles IV 1789 1808 ascended the throne as Ferdinand VII
Alfonso XII de España, c. 1870.jpg Alfonso of Spain
Isabella II
1857 1868 mother's deposition
Emanuel Filiberto d'Aosta.jpg Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy
Amadeus 1871 1873 father's abdication
María de las Mercedes de Borbón y Habsburgo-Lorena.JPG Maria de las Mercedes
Alfonso XII of Spain
Alfonso XIII
Ascended the throne as "Queen in Name" temporarily, and on the birth of her younger brother, reverted until her death in childbirth.
Crown Prince Spain (LOC).jpg Alfonso of Spain
Alfonso XIII
1907 1933 renounced his succession rights
J. de Borbón.jpg Juan, Count of Barcelona
1933 1941 Recognized as heir apparent to the Spanish throne and held the title in pretense from 21 June 1933, but preferred to use the title Count of Barcelona; renounced his claim to the throne in favor of his son, Juan Carlos on 14 May 1977
Felipe de Borbón en 2012.jpg Felipe of Spain
Juan Carlos I
1977 2014 ascended the throne as Felipe VI
Leonor of Spain
Felipe VI 2014 Incumbent

See also[edit]

External links[edit]