Spanish arms

(The Kingdom of Spain)

Spanish flag


Royal family of Spain

Sovereign: Juan Carlos King of Spain (Anglo-American Hospital, Rome, Italy, January 5th, 1938).
Son of Juan Count of Barcelona Infant of Spain (1913-1993) and Maria de las Mercedes Princess of Bourbon of Two-Sicilies (1910-2000).
Succeeds General Francisco Franco († November 22nd, 1975), who was President of Spain since 1936.
Inauguration: Settlement at the Parliament (Cortes), Madrid, Spain, November 22nd, 1975. Inauguration at the San Jeronimo el Real Cathedral, Madrid, Spain, November 27th, 1975.
Motto: Plus Ultra (Still further).
Religion: Roman Catholic.

Married (1962): Sofia Princess of Greece and Denmark (1938).

  • Elena (1963), married (1995; div. 2010): Jaime de Marichalar y Sáenz de Tejada (1963); They have two children: Felipe Juan Froilán (1998) and Victoria Federica (2000).
  • Cristina (1965), married (1997): Iñaki Urdangarín y Liebaert (1968); They have four children: Juan (1999), Pablo Nicolás (2000), Miguel (2002) and Irene (2005).

  • Felipe and Letizia

    Photo and Copyright: Bernard Rübsamen

  • Felipe Prince of Asturias (Nuestra Señora de Loreto Clinic, Madrid, Spain, January 29th, 1968), married (2004): Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano (1972). They have two daughters: Leonor (2005) and Sofía (2007)

  • Titles:
    The King, Majesty, is King of Spain, Castile, Léon, Aragón, the Two Sicilies, Jerusalem, Navarre, Granada, Toledo, Valencia, Galicia, Mallorca, Minorca, Sevilla, Sardinia, Cordoba, Corsica, Murcia, Jaén, the Algarve, Algesiras, Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, East and West Indies, of the continent and the islands of the oceans, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, Brabant, Milan, Count of Habsburg, Flanders, Tirol and Barcelona, Duke of Athens and Neopatria, Lord of Biscaye and Molina, Marques of Oristan and Gozianos. The Crown Prince is Royal Highness, Infant of Spain, Prince of Asturias, Prince of Viana and Gerona, Duke of Montblanch, Count of Cervera, Lord of Balaguer. Since 1987 the husband of a Queen will just be Prince of Spain. Only children of the sovereign, his/her heir, and a regent will be Royal Highness, Infant(a) of Spain. Children of Infants will be Excellency, Grande of Spain. A Sovereign can give the title Infant(a) of Spain, with Royal Highness, to family members he wants to distinguish. They all stay Prince(ss) of Bourbon. Titles that are given to members of the royal family before 1978 can't be inherited by their children.

    The succession to the throne is in male and female line, with priority for the male heirs. When there is no heir anymore in a line, a younger line will follow. No marriage of an heir to the throne can be contracted against the will of a King and the Parliament. In the time of King Carlos III a decree was issued that obliges each heir to marry in his own standing. Although some Spanish people say that the crown prince should hold on to this law, he is not obliged anymore to do that.

    Postal address:
    Palacio de la Zarzuela
    28071 Madrid

    Since 1962 the King and Queen live at La Zarzuela Palace just outside Madrid in the wooden parkland known as the Monte de El Pardo. Their official residence however is the Royal Palace in Madrid. This palace is used for state occasions and owned by the Spanish State. The crown princely couple lives in a house near La Zarzuela Palace. In the summer La Almudaina, the royal castle at the city of Mallorca, is used by the king as an official residence for state ceremonies and receptions. The family however uses the Palace of Marivent at Mallorca as their actual summer residence. More information: Royal Palaces.

    In 711 the Muslims conquered the West gothic State. In the north some Christian areas stayed, like Asturia, Castile, Navarre, Aragon, Léon and the county of Barcelona. Sometimes these kingdoms were independent, sometimes they were united. The Spanish monarchy reached her climax around 1500 under the reign of Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand V of Aragon, who managed to unite whole Spain and sent Christopher Columbus to the other side of the ocean where he discovered America. Most of the colonies Spain got in this and later years became independent in the 19th century. King Carlos I also was Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. The last Habsburg King of Spain, Carlos II, died in 1700. After the Succession War (1700-1713) Spain got a Bourbon king, Felipe V, grandson of King Louis XIV of France. Since then only two non-Bourbon kings reigned over Spain: Joseph Bonaparte (1805-1814), a brother of the Emperor Napoleon I, and Prince Amadeo of Savoy (1871-1873). After the last on Spain was a republic for one year, but became a monarchy again afterwards. King Ferdinand VII became King after 1814. When he died in 1833 a civil war broke out, as the supporters of Don Carlos, brother of the King, didn't recognize the new Queen Isabella II. Spain was torn to pieces by the Carlistic wars of 1834-1840 and 1872 and 1876. Isabella II had to fly the country in 1868 and abdicated in 1870 in favour of her son Alfonso who became King Alfonso XII in 1874 after a coup d'état. He died in 1885.

    His son Alfonso XIII was born as a king in 1886. He married Victoria Eugenia (Ena) Princess of Battenberg. Between 1923 and 1930 the government stood under the leadership of general Miguel Primo de Rivera. In 1931 the people asked for a republic andKing Alfonso XIII had to leave the country. He died in 1941 and was followed as head of the family by his son Juan. Soon the republic was involved in a bloody civil war, and in 1936 general Francisco Franco declared himself head of the state and reigned as a dictator until his death on November 22nd 1975. In 1947 he had enacted a bill about his succession: his successor would be a king again. It didn't say who that king would be. In 1948 general Franco laid his eye on the young prince Juan Carlos, the son of pretender Juan, who afterwards was brought up by Franco in Spain. On July 22nd 1969 Juan Carlos finally officially was designated as heir to the throne. As soon as Juan Carlos I had ascended the throne in 1975 he began to democratise Spain. Juan Carlos had married Princess Sofia of Greece in 1962 and they had three children: Elena (1963), Cristina (1965) and Felipe (1968). In February 1981 a hundred members of the Guardia Civil committed a coup d'état and held the government, the national congress and many senators hostage. Tanks and artillery showed up in Valencia and Madrid, the wireless- and television stations were taken over, but they had forgotten the king. Juan Carlos formed a provisional government and as commander-in-chief of the Spanish army he ordered action. After 24 hours the coup was over. His appearance made a big impression on the people of Spain.

    The Kings of Spain
    Isabella II (1833-1904) 1833-abd. 1868
    Amadeo di Savoia Duke of Aosta (1845-1890) 1870-abd. 1873
    Alfonso XII (1857-1885) 1874-1885
    Maria Cristina (1858-1929) Regent: 1885-1902
    Alfonso XIII (1886-1941) 1886/1902-abd. 1931
    Juan Carlos I (1938- ) 1975-