Meet Spain’s New King: Felipe VI

Spain’s King Felipe VI
(Photo from
King Felipe and Queen Letizia, daughters and princesses Leonor and
Sofia, with the outgoing King Juan Carlos (“Pop-pop” as he’s known to the girls)

Felipe attended a “regular” school in Madrid, where he wouldn’t receive special treatment, and high school in Canada. He came home to Madrid to attend college, earning a law degree and a Master’s in Foreign Service. As the Prince of Asturias (the formal title for the heir to the throne, unless of course you’re Princess of Asturias, as Princess Leonor now is), he made hundreds of diplomatic trips around the world and, in particular, to Spanish-speaking countries (Spain’s modern highly confederated “empire”), with one notable exception: Cuba. Seems the Spanish monarchy turns their nose up to the Castro regime.

Felipe and Letizia were married on May 22nd, 2004 at the Almudena Cathedral (which we blogged about here) with scant mention in the states compared to the British royal weddings of modern times. They are Roman Catholic, not surprisingly, and by selecting Almudena Cathedral over any other more regal or private church venue, they indicated their desire to be close to the people. Juan Carlos and Sofia also often attend mass at this “people’s cathedral”.

As king, Felipe VI has already announced his intention to follow his father’s lead and maintain a mostly ceremonial role, despite the fact that the Spanish constitution actually grants him considerable more power. Perhaps it’s this voluntary detachment from power, learned from his father, that so endears Felipe to the Spanish people: according to a recent Spanish newspaper poll, 75% of those polled preferred that Felipe take a greater role in Spanish politics.

Viva el Rey!

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