THE SPANISH ROYAL FAMILY
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The Spanish Royal Crest
As of 1978, Spain has been a Parlimentary System with a Constitutional Monarchy.  This is similar to the system in Great Britain.  The King is the head of the state and as such, represents Spain internationally.

The Spanish Constitution limits the authority of the King (and all future Monarchs) to mostly ceremonial powers. The King has the authority to propose candidates to serve as head of governments, but his proposal's must be approved by the Parliament.

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Su Majestad el Rey Don Juan Carlos I

(His Majesty King Juan Carlos I)
King Juan Carlos I is the current ruler of Spain.   He was born on January 5, 1938 in Rome.  His grandfather, Alphonso XIII, had given up the throne of Spain and moved the entire Royal family to Rome.  In 1948 Juan Carlos returned to Spain to begin his education.  In 1955 he began his studies at the military academies of the Navy, Army and Air Force.  He eventually qualified as a military pilot.  On May 14, 1962, in Athens he married Princess Sofía of Greece.   In 1969 he was designated to be the next Head of State.  On November 22, 1975, he was proclaimed King of Spain.  In his first speech to the people of Spain he told them that he wished to restore democracy. 

On May 1977 his father, who was never King, transferred  to Juan Carlos all rights to the throne.   One month later the first democratic elections since 1936 were held.  On December 6th, 1978, the current constitution, which defined the role of the King, was adopted.  On February 23, 1981, the future of the King and of Spain was tested.   (Click here to read what happened.)  In the last 20 years the King has become a very influential world figure.  He is a major reason that Spain has once again assumed a important role in world affairs. The King is also an avid sportsman.  He particularly enjoys sking and sailing. 

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Su Majestad la Reina Doña Sofía

(Her Majesty Queen Sofía)
Queen Sofía was born in Athens on November 2, 1938.   She was the first daugher of King Paul I of Greece.  Her family was forced to flee Greece during World War II.  In 1960, she was a reserve member of the Greek sailing team in the Olympics in Rome.  In addition to her royal duties the Queen devotes a great deal of time to social and charity activities.  She heads the Queen Sofía foundation which helps refugee people in Bosnia.  She also heads the Royal Board on Education and Care of Handicapped Persons. 
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Su Alteza Real el Príncipe de Asturias

(His Royal Highness the Prince of Asturias)
Prince Felipe is the 3rd child of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophía.  He was born on January 30, 1968.  His full name is Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos de Borbón y Grecia. He is royal title is Prince of  Asturias.  He is also Prince of Girona and Prince of Viana.  On January 30, 1986, he became 18 years old and took an oath of allegiance to the Constitution and the King. Under Spanish law he is the next in line to become King of Spain.  Like his father he spent time at the military academies of the Army, Navy and Air Force.  Also like his father he became a military pilot.  In 1993 the Prince received a bachelor's degree from the University of Madrid. 

In 1995 he received a Master's degree from Georgetown University.  The Prince is very tall, 6'5".  He was a member of the Spanish Olympic Sailing team in 1992.  His other interests include skiing and motocross.  The Prince has many relatives.  You might be one of his relatives.   (Click here to see)

On May 22, 2004, the Prince married, Letizia Ortiz who used to be a former newscaster.  She was born on September 15, 1972 en Oviedo.  She is not of royal blood, but upon marrying the Prince became the Princess of Asturias.  This was the first true Royal wedding in Spain in 100 years.
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Su Alteza Real la Infanta Doña Elena

(Her Royal Highness the Princess Elena)
Princess Elena is the oldest child of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía.  She is currently second in line to the throne after her brother.  She was born on December 20, 1963.  Her full name is Elena Maria, Isabel, Dominica de Silos de Borbón y Grecia.  In 1986 she qualified and taught as an English teacher.  On March 18, 1995, she married.  Upon being married the King gave her the title, Duchess de Lugo. Her son, Felipe was born in 1998 and her daughter Victoria in 2000. Until the Prince marries and has children, Elena's children are 3rd and 4th in line to the   

throne.  As part of her royal duties Princess Elena has made official visits to several countries including Japan and Argentina.  She also is honorary president of the Spanish Special Olympics and has a very keen interest in the welfare of children.

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Excelentísimo Señor Don Jaime de Marichalar
(Most Excellent Mr. Jaime de Marichalar)
Jaime de Marichalar is the son of the Count de Ripalda.  He was born in 1963 in Pamploma.  He met Princess Elena in 1987 in Paris where he was working as an Economist.  They reside in Paris for a while after their marriage.  Upon marrying the Princess, Jaime became the Duke de Lugo.  He and Elena live in Madrid.  He currently works in banking.   As is Elena he is interested in history and Spanish and European art. 
He has also worked with the European Union on developing an agricultural policy for Europe.
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Su Alteza Real la Infanta Doña Cristina

(Her Royal Highness the Princess Cristina)
Princess Cristina is the second oldest child of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía.  She was born on June 13, 1965.  She is currently 5th in line to the Spanish throne.  Her full name is Cristina, Federica de Borbón y Grecia.  In 1989 she graduated from the University of Madrid with a degree in Politics.  In 1990 she graduated from the University of New York with a Master's degree in International Relations.  While in New York City she worked with the United Nations.  In 1988 she was a member of the Spanish Olympic Sailing team.   On October 4, 1997, she married in Barcelona, where she and her family current live.  

Upon being married she was granted the title Duchess de Palma de Mallorca.  Her son Juan was born in 1999 and her son Pablo was born in 2000. Her third son, Miguel was born in 2002. She is honorary chairman of the Spanish Committee of UNESCO (a part of the United Nations).  She is also the chairman of the Princess Cristina foundation for the Physically and Mentally Handicapped.  She personally has worked with handicapped individuals to teach them how to sail.

christinaspouse.jpg (19761 bytes)Excelentísimo Señor Don Iñaki Urdangarin y Liebaert
(Most Excellent Mr. Iñaki Urdangarin Liebaert)
Iñaki Urdangarin y Liebaert was born on January 15, 1968, in Zumárraga in  the Basque region of Spain.  He met his future wife at the 1992  Summer Olympics in Atlanta.  He was a member of the Spanish Handball team.  He also represented Spain in the 1996 Olympics.  In 2000 as Captain of the Spanish Handball team he won a bronze medal.  Upon his marriage to Princess Cristina he was made Duke de Palma de Mallorca.  He retired from playing Handball and is currently a businessman.  (What is Handball?   Click here to find out.)
donfelipe copy.jpg (26180 bytes) Prince Felipe has yet to marry.  Even if Prince Felipe does marry he may not have any children.  If Prince Felipe does not have any children upon his death his older sister, Princess Elena would become the Queen.   Find out who is currently in line to the Spanish throne.  (Click here to see the Spanish line of succession)

Felipe-Juan with his grandfather King Juan Carlos I and his grandmother Queen Sofía.  Felipe-Juan is currently 3rd in line to the Spanish throne.

 

 

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