Spanish royalty Felipe VI of Spain was proclaimed the reigning King of the Spanish monarchy in the recent past. He took the throne after his father, King Juan Carlos I, stepped down in 2014. Letizia Ortiz, who he had married in 2004, then wore the crown of the Queen of Spain. Currently, the two of them represent the Spanish monarchy.
The King and Queen of Spain have two gorgeous daughters. Leonor, Princess of Asturias, is 14 years old and Infanta Sofía of Spain is 12 years old. Even though Infanta Sofía of Spain is a royal, she doesn’t have the princess title. This is because she is the second born daughter and probably won’t ascend the throne, like her elder sister.
As the elder daughter, Princess Leonor is next in line to the throne. Many are already struck by her regality at such a young age. As a young princess, she has managed to blow everyone away with her speech, which she gave in English, Catalan, and Arabic during an event. Leonor will be the first queen regnant of Spain since Isabella II, who reigned in the mid-1800s.
Although the King’s official residence is listed as the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Spanish Royal family lives in the Prince’s Pavilion, which is located on the grounds of Zarzuela Palace. The mansion has eleven bedrooms and a few office and meeting areas where the royal family discusses business. The mansion is located on the far outer edge of Madrid.
Queen Letizia is the only Spanish queen who is not of royal blood; she was from a working-class family. One of her parents worked as a journalist and the other as a registered nurse, being a hospital union representative. Before Queen Letizia took the throne, she had a remarkable career in journalism and news anchoring. She worked for CNN, Bloomberg TV, ABC, and news agency TVE.
According to the Telegraph, the current Spanish King has forbidden the Spanish royal family members from accepting pricey gifts. Around January 2015, he announced that no gifts that “compromise the dignity of the institution” should be received. He also vetoed zero-interest loans and free flights for members of the Royal family. This ban holds ground for the queen and their daughters, too!
Did you know that it is against British royal etiquette for commoners to touch the Royals? Shaking hands is permitted, but only if they initiate it. The approach that the Spanish royals have, however, is different. As a typical greeting, Spaniards kiss each other on the cheek. When the former King of Spain met Queen Elizabeth, he greeted her in this manner, too.
King Felipe was quite the athlete in his yesteryears. He was part of the Spanish Olympic sailing team in the 1992 Summer Olympic Games, which was held in Barcelona, Spain. As a Spanish flag bearer, he carried the red and gold Spanish flag during the entrance parade, making a proud statement. His three-man crew was placed sixth in the Soling Class.
Queen Letizia is known for her fashion-forward style. In fact, a whole website has been dedicated to her outfits. Although she is known for her style, she isn’t afraid to recycle her clothing and accessories. She has worn her Magrit suede shoes to more than eleven public appearances. In 2014, many speculated that she could end up boosting Spain’s fashion industry.
Royal children often attend regal events. Twelve-year-old Princess Leonar was bestowed The Order of The Golden Fleece by her father, King Felipe, on his 50th birthday. This is an illustrious order of knighthood founded by Philip III of Burgundy in 1430. She’s one of the four female royals to have this honor. It is one of the greatest honors in Spain.
King Felipe VI is the youngest reigning descendant of Queen Victoria. His roots can be traced to the iconic British queen through his father’s lineage. Infante Juan was his paternal grandfather and also the son of Princess Victoria Eugenie, who is the child of Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Beatrice. King Felipe VI can also trace his British roots through his mother, Queen Sofia of Spain.
Before being wed to Felipe, Letizia was briefly married to Alonso Guerrero Pérez, a teacher by profession. The marriage lasted only a year, but the status of a “divorcée” forced the soon-to-be royal couple to keep their relationship under wraps. As her previous marriage was a civil ceremony, she didn’t need an annulment before her roman-catholic wedding to Prince Felipe in 2004.
Within a week of taking the throne in 2014, King Felipe welcomed LGBTQ representatives for an official meeting at the palace. He was the first Spanish monarch to do so. Gay rights leader, José María Núñez said that the invitation from King Felipe VI sent out “a message of normality and integration.” We don’t know about you, but the Spanish King has won our hearts!
If you thought that the royals could splurge their money without giving it a thought, you are wrong. In 2011, the Telegraph broke the news that King Felipe and Queen Letizia had to cut down their personal budget by up to nine percent. Although the Spanish Royal family sets their own household budget, it’s mandatory for the parliament to approve it.
The King of Spain, Felipe VI, is not just a figurehead representing the Spanish monarchy. He is, in fact, highly educated and accomplished. He graduated from the Autonomous University of Madrid with a Bachelor’s degree in Law. He also completed his masters from the prestigious Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, which is at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
We know that monarchs are traditionally hereditary, but this was not the case with King Felipe’s ascension to the throne. He was given power by the people of Spain, according to the Spanish constitution. Previously, only the heirs of the Spanish monarchs would become kings. However, this was before the 1870s. The last uncontested hereditary royal succession happened over 200 years ago.
The Spanish Royal family suffered defeat during the Spanish Civil War, and the monarchy was abolished in 1931. However, Juan Carlos I, King Felipe’s father and the former King of Spain, rose to power and brought in reforms that abolished the existing dictatorial regime. Spain transitioned to democracy under his kingship. The Spanish Constitution of 1978 was approved in a referendum, and the constitutional monarchy was established.
In 2020, King Felipe VI renounced his personal inheritance from Juan Carlos I, his father. This shocking turn of events happened after Juan Carlos I was accused of financial impropriety. According to CNN, Felipe declared that he wouldn’t inherit any financial assets that “may be inconsistent with the law or the standards of honesty and integrity, which govern his institutional and private activities.”
Isabella I was the Queen of Castile back in 1474. She is considered to have unified Spain after marrying Ferdinand II of Aragon. Although Aragon and Castile were two different kingdoms under her reign, she was still known as the first Queen of Spain de facto. She invested heavily in geographical expeditions and is known to have financed Christopher Columbus’s expedition, which led him to America.
The Princess of Asturias Awards is a series of prizes awarded to global entities, who make noteworthy contributions to the humanities, sciences, and public affairs. Every October, the prestigious awards are given to recipients at the Campoamor Theatre in Oviedo. In 2019, King Felipe’s daughter, the Princess of Asturias, Leonor, handed over awards that bore her title and fulfilled her first royal duty.