Spain has one of the most well balanced royal families of recent times. The fact that King Felipe VI met his wife over dinner via a journalist friend ensures their popularity with the Spanish public hasn’t waned – and it helps that he even rides a motorbike.
Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos de Borbón y de Grecia, born 30 January 1968, ascended to the throne in 2014 upon the abdication of his father, King Juan Carlos I. The king and his wife, Queen Letizia of Spain have two daughters, Leonor Princess of Asturias and Infanta Sofía of Spain.
Heir to the throne
Despite their two daughters Leonor and Sofia being born fewer than two years apart, the eldest Leonor is currently set to be the youngest heir to the throne in Europe. With Spain not having had a queen since 1868, this will be another twist that ensures the Spanish royal family’s continued affection with the public.
The Zarzuela Palace
Like many royal families facing the ever-disapproving eye of the media, they have had to cut back on their spending habits. They need approval from the Spanish parliament on numbers but continue to live in the fairy-tale-like Zarzuela Palace, which is located on the outskirts of Madrid. Situated on the Monte de El Pardo hill, the palace has been the official residence of the Spanish monarchs since 1975. Although King Felipe has reportedly forbidden members of the royal family in accepting extravagant gifts as it would “compromise the dignity of the institution.”
Spanish Royalty titles
In Spanish royalty, almost all women have been called Her Royal Highness the Infanta, a title that can be traced back to the 1200s. Infanta Sofía, second in line to the Spanish throne, was also named after her paternal grandmother, Queen Sofía.
The House of Borbón-Anjou is a modern monarchy but is originally a European royal house of French origin. Bourbon (the anglicized name for Borbón) kings first ruled France in the 16th century but had thrones in Spain by the 18th century.