Royal Palace

Spanish Monarchy

The Royal Family of Spain consists of the current King, Felipe VI, his wife Letizia, ex-King Juan Carlos and his wife Sofia, and their direct descendants (see notes below). The Spanish royal family belongs to the ancient House of Borbón. Ex Queen Sofia was born a princess of Greece and Denmark in 1938.

The present King, Felipe, took over the throne when his father, Juan Carlos abdicated. Previously his title was the Prince of Asturias and his wife the title of Princess of Asturias. They have two children.  

The Spanish Monarchy has a checkered history and can be traced back to the Visigoth Kingdom, a kingdom which occupied southwestern France and the Iberian Peninsula from the 5th to 8th century AD. Over the centuries there has been a number of Monarchy's and Republics in Spain to a Republic 'created' by General Franco. At Franco death the present King's father Juan Carlos emergedas Monarch. Ex King Juan Carlos's grandfather was the last King of Spain before General Franco's republic. General Franco was not in favour of Juan Carlo's father, and he was exiled, but he groomed his son ready to take over..

Spanish Royal Family

In some ways, the King of Spain's official role is more to do with the maintenance of democracy and law and order, rather than the ceremonial opening of buildings and similar events, as performed by most other European Kings and Queens. One of his tasks is to keep good relations between Spain and the former Spanish colonies in America, now all self-governing and independent.

The Spanish King, is rated as one of the most popular and respected persons in Spain by the vast majority of the Spain population, not just as a person, but as the person but who maintains democracy in the country - often by using his charm, knowledge and wit. He does not get involved in party politics. Despite this, he has been described as the 'poorest King in Europe' with a state income only just higher than that given to the ruling family of Luxemburg.

Spanish Royal Coat of Arms

There are a number of Royal palaces in Spain, mostly dating back to previous Monarchs, but they are all now state owned, but made available to the current King for state occasions, etc.

In June of 2014 King Juan Carlos abdicated in favour of his son, Prince Felipe, partly on health and age reasons. He had become less popular in his latter years.