Felipe in June 2019
Felipe in June 2019
King of Spain
Reign 19 June 2014 – present
Full name
Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos de Borbón y de Grecia
Born 30 January 1968 (age 52)
Our Lady of Loreto Clinic, Madrid, Spain
Spouse Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano
Leonor, Princess of Asturias
Infanta Sofía of Spain
House House of Bourbon
Father Juan Carlos I of Spain
Mother Sophia of Greece and Denmark
Religion Roman Catholicism
Spanish Royal Family
Coat of Arms of Spanish Monarch.svg

HM The King
HM The Queen

HM King Juan Carlos I
HM Queen Sofía

HRH The Duchess of Badajoz

  • HE Doña Simoneta
  • HE The Viscount de la Torre
  • HE Don Bruno
  • HE Don Luis
  • HE Don Fernando

HRH The Duchess of Soria and Hernani
HE The Duke of Soria and Hernani

  • HE Don Alfonso
  • HE Doña María

HRH The Dowager Duchess of Calabria

v · d · e

Felipe VI of Spain (Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos; born 30 January 1968), is the King of Spain, having succeeded to the throne on 19 June 2014 after the abdication of his father, King Juan Carlos I.[1] When Spanish dictator Francisco Franco chose Juan Carlos as his successor in 1969, Felipe became second in line to the Spanish throne.

In 2004, Felipe married TV news journalist Letizia Ortiz with whom he has two daughters, Leonor (his heir presumptive) and Sofía. 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 Spanish America and the former Spanish East Indies, which are collectively called the "nations of its historical community".

Early lifeEdit

Felipe was born at Our Lady of Loreto Clinic in Madrid, the third child and only son of Infante Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sofía of Greece and Denmark. His birth, after that of his two sisters, the infantas Elena and Cristina, ensured a male successor to the Spanish Throne.

His full name is Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos de Borbón y de Grecia. The symbolic names given at his christening, by the Archbishop of Madrid Casimiro Morcillo González included the names of the first Bourbon King of Spain (Felipe V); his grandfathers (Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona and Paul of Greece); his great-grandfather King Alfonso XIII of Spain; and All Saints (Todos los Santos or et omnes sancti) as is customary among the Bourbons.[2]

He was baptised on 8 February 1968 at the Palace of Zarzuela by the Archbishop of Madrid, Casimiro Morcillo, with water from the Jordan River.[3][4] His godparents were his paternal grandfather Juan and his paternal great-grandmother, Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain.[2][5][4]

At the time of his birth he was titled as Infante of Spain, as his father was not yet King and Felipe was not yet heir apparent. The ruling dictator Generalísimo Francisco Franco died just more than 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.[6]

In 1977, Felipe was formally proclaimed Prince of Asturias.[5] In May, nine-year-old Felipe was made an honorary soldier of the 1st King's Immemorial Infantry Regiment.[7] The occasion was marked on 28 May and was attended by the king, the prime minister and several other ministers in a ceremony at the infantry's barracks.[8][9] On 1 November the same year, he was ceremoniously paid homage as Prince of Asturias in Covadonga.[10] In 1981 Felipe received the Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece from his father, the Chief and Sovereign of the Order.[2][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 institutional role as successor to the Crown.[12][13]

Education and military training Edit

Felipe started school at Santa Maria de los Rosales,[12] a modern day school where he could fit in without special treatment. 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.[2] 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. Gregarious and outgoing, Felipe speaks Spanish, Catalan, French, English and some Greek.

As the heir to the throne, a carefully regulated and structured plan was laid out for Felipe's military training. In August 1985, a Royal Decree named Felipe as officer at the General Military Academy in Zaragoza.[14][15] He began his military training there in September.[16] He completed the first phase of his formation in October.[17] In July 1986, he was promoted to Cadet 2nd Lieutenant. He was also named as Midshipman.[18] On September 1986, he began his naval training at the Escuela Naval Militar in Pontevedra, joining the Third Brigade.[19] In January 1987, he continued his naval training on board the training ship Juan Sebastián Elcano.[20] In July, he was named as Student Ensign at the Academia General del Aire in Murcia.[21] In September 1987, he began his air force training there[22] where he learned to fly aircraft.[23] In 1989, he was promoted to lieutenant in the Army, ensign in the Navy, and lieutenant in the Air Force. In 1992, he was promoted to captain in the Air Force.[24] In 1993, he was promoted to lieutenant in the Navy and captain in the Infantry of the Army.[25]

Further promotions in 2000 were commandant in the Army, corvette captain in the Navy, and commandant in the Air Force. Promotions in 2009 were lieutenant colonel in the Army, frigate captain in the Navy, and lieutenant colonel in the Air Force.

Since 19 June 2014, after his ascension to the throne, he acquired the rank of Capitán General (Commander-in-chief) of all the Spanish armies (Land, Navy and Air Force).

Sports and participation in the Olympics Edit

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.[26] Both his mother and uncle, King Konstantínos II of the Hellenes, 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.[27]

Felipe has been a supporter of Atlético Madrid since watching them win the 1976 Copa del Generalísimo Final.[28] He is also the club's honorary president since 2003.[29]

Felipe, himself 197 cm (6 ft 5 12 in) in height, has attended Spanish, European, and Olympic basketball championships.[30][31]

Felipe also attended the Spanish national rugby union team's final home rugby union match in the 2018 Rugby Europe Championship.[32]

Personal lifeEdit

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, who was not viewed favorably by the Royal Family due to her being three years older than he was and having divorced parents;[33] and Norwegian model Eva Sannum, who had modeled underwear, something favored by neither the Spanish people nor the Royal Family.[34]


See also: Engagement of Felipe, Prince of Asturias and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano

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.


See also: Wedding of Felipe, Prince of Asturias and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano

The couple married on the morning of 22 May 2004 in the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, with members of several European royal families attending. The wedding was watched by more than 25 million television viewers in Spain alone, and was broadcast throughout the world. Letizia Ortiz then gained the title HRH The Princess of Asturias, but was often referred to as Princess Letizia.


On 8 May 2005, the Spanish Royal House announced that the couple were expecting their first child in November. Infanta Leonor de Todos los Santos of Spain, was born on 31 October 2005. She is the first in line of succession to the Spanish throne.

On 25 September 2006, the Royal House announced that the couple were expecting their second baby in May 2007. On 28 November 2006, it was revealed that the child would be a girl. Infanta Sofía de Todos los Santos of Spain was born on 29 April 2007. She is the second in the line of succession to succeed Felipe after her older sister.


Felipe is godfather to at least four children:

Royal lifeEdit

Official dutiesEdit

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 several 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, 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.

Social workEdit

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 these highly prestigious 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.

Public protestEdit

After the 11 March 2004, Madrid bombings, Felipe, along with his sisters Elena and Cristina, became the first members of the Spanish royal family ever to take part in a public protest.

Titles, styles and honorsEdit

Titles and stylesEdit

  • 30 January 1968 – 22 January 1977: His Royal Highness The Infante Felipe of Spain
  • 22 January 1977 – : His Royal Highness The Prince of Asturias
    • in Catalonia: 22 January 1977 –: His Royal Highness The Prince of Girona
    • in Navarre: 22 January 1977 –: His Royal Highness The Prince of Viana
  • 19 June 2014 – present: His Majesty The King

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 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. 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".

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, Girona and 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.

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.

When Felipe succeeded to the throne on June 19 2014, he became known by his regal name, Felipe VI.

Military ranksEdit

  • 1 August 1985-7 July 1986: Officer Cadet, Spanish Army
  • 7 July 1986-7 July 1989: Cadet 2nd Lieutenant, Spanish Army
  • 10 July 1986-7 July 1989: Midshipman, Spanish Navy
  • 10 July 1987-7 July 1989: Cadet 2nd Lieutenant, Spanish Air Force
  • 7 July 1989-1 December 2000: Lieutenant, Spanish Army
  • 7 July 1989-1 December 2000: Ensign, Spanish Navy
  • 7 July 1989-1 December 2000: Lieutenant, Spanish Air Force
  • 1 December 2000-3 July 2009: Commandant, Spanish Army
  • 1 December 2000-3 July 2009: Corvette Captain, Spanish Navy
  • 1 December 2000-3 July 2009: Commandant, Spanish Air Force
  • 3 July 2009-: Lieutenant Colonel, Spanish Army
  • 3 July 2009-: Frigate Captain, Spanish Navy
  • 3 July 2009-: Lieutenant Colonel, Spanish Air Force


Foreign Honours

References Edit

  1. Felipe takes over as king of SpainBBC News. 18 June 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Casa de Su Majestad el Rey de España – S.M. el Rey Don Felipe VICasa Real (in Spanish)
  3. Royal christenings around the worldThe Telegraph.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Apadrinado por don Juan y la Reina Doña Victoria, recibo ayer las aguas bautismales el infante don FelipeABC (in Spanish). 9 February 1968. p. 23. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Don Felipe de Borbón, principe de AsturiasEl Pais (in Spanish). 22 January 1977
  6. Casa de Su Majestad el Rey de España – Actividades y Agenda – Hitos más importantes de Su Alteza Real el Príncipe de AsturiasCasa Real (in Spanish). 
  7. Incoporación del principe Felipe al ejercito como soldado honorarioABC (in Spanish). 22 May 1977. p. 7
  8. El Príncipe Felipe será desde hoy soldado honorarioEl País (in Spanish). 28 May 1977
  9. García, Sebastian (29 May 1977). El Príncipe de Asturias, soldado de honor del regimiento Inmemorial del ReyEl País.
  10. Homenaje a don Felipe como Príncipe de AsturiasABC (in Spanish). 2 November 1977. p. 5
  11. Boletín Oficial del EstadoReal Decreto 865/1981
  12. 12.0 12.1 Casa de Su Majestad el Rey de España – Actividades y Agenda – Hitos más importantes de Su Alteza Real el Príncipe de AsturiasCasa Real (in Spanish).
  13. Schumacher, Edward (31 January 1986). Spanish Prince, 18, Sworn in as the Heir ApparentThe New York Times.
  14. Yárnoz, Carlos (3 August 1985). Don Felipe de Borbón ingresará en la Academia Militar de Zaragoza el 2 de septiembreEl Pais (in Spanish).
  15. Boletín Oficial del Estado.
  16. Yárnoz, Carlos (3 September 1985). El Príncipe de Asturias comienza su formación militarEl Pais(in Spanish).
  17. Valdecantos, Camilo (11 October 1985). Príncipe Felipe concluye la primera fase de su formación en la Academia de ZaragozaEl Pais (in Spanish).
  18. Boletín Oficial del Estado.
  19. El Príncipe de Asturias, guardia marina en la Escuela NavalEl Pais (in Spanish). 2 September 1986
  20. Camilo, Valdecantos (8 January 1987). El Príncipe inicia su periodo de instrucción en el buque escuela 'Elcano'El Pais (in Spanish)
  21. Boletín Oficial del Estado.
  22. Reverte, Paloma (3 September 1987). El Príncipe de Asturias inicia en San Javier su último curso de formación militarEl Pais (in Spanish)
  23. El Príncipe de Asturias realiza su primer vuelo en San JavierEl Pais (in Spanish). 15 September 1987
  24. El príncipe Felipe, capitánEl Pais (in Spanish). EFE. 28 July 1992
  25. El príncipe Felipe asciende a capitán de InfanteríaEl Pais (in Spanish). EFE. 3 February 1993
  26. Official Report of the Games of the XXV Olympiad Barcelona 1992, Volume V The Results (PDF).
  27. Felipe, Crown Prince de Borbón.
  28. Un atlético en la corte del Rey Felipe. El Mundo
  29. Gorgorni, Evita (28 May 2016). Atlético de Madrid Trivia: 25 facts about the football club.
  30. King Felipe attends basketball finalRoyalista. 23 February 2015
  31. His Majesty the King of Spain attends Turkish Airlines Euroleague Championship GameEuroleague. 17 May 2015
  32. Rugby World Cup‏ Twitter
  33. Isabel Sartorius se desnuda en un libro de memorias: Mi madre me mandaba a comprar cocaína. (21 February 2012)
  34. Eva Sannum, así es su vida quince años después. Diez Minutos (4 October 2012)
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