Spanish Royalty

Many independent Christian kingdoms formed in the Iberian Peninsula following the barbarian invasions which destroyed the Roman Empire. The Visigoths dominated the Iberian Peninsula for over two centuries. North African muslims invaded the peninsula in the 7th century and defeated the Visigoths. Muslim attempts to cross the Pyranees and invade France failed. The Muslims south of the Puranees dominated the Peninsula for centuries, but gradually surviving Christian kingdoms in the north began the Recoinquista. For 7 centuries there was intermitten warfare between and among the Chritian and Islamic kingdoms. The modern Spanish nation owes its foundtion to the marriage of King Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile and the fall of Granada, the last Islamic kingdom in Spain. The ruling families since were Hapsburgs and Bourbons. The monarchy was deposed by the Republicands in the 1930s, but reinstated after Franco's death in 1975.

Visigothic Kingdoms (6th-7th centuries)

The Visagoths entered Iberia (412 AD) and within 7 years established themselves as the dominant power in the Peninsula. The Visagoths established the Toulouse Kingdom, only nomally subject to the emperor in Rome (419). The Kingdom at its peak streached from Gibraltar north to the Loire River. Although Teutonic in origins, the Visigoths built on the earlier base of Latin (Roman) culture and eventually implanted Christianity. Euric ruled as king (466-84) at perhaps the peak of Visogothic power in Iberia. He codified of Roman and Gothic law. Leovgild (569-86) finally conquered the Suevi tribes and united Romans and Visagoths into a single people. Reccared (586-601) made Roman Christianity the state religion.

Moorish Conquest (711-19)

A Moorish or Saracen army crossed the Straits of Gibraltar from North Aftrica (711). The Moorish army consisted of Moslems of varying origins. The Moorish army was predominately Arabs, but included Berbers, Syrians, and others). The Moors at the Battle of Río Barbate defeated the forces of Roderick, the last Visogothic king (July 19, 711). The Moors moved through the Toulouse Kingdom destroying ant armed resistance and over the space of a few years totally dominated the Peninsula. They then crossed the Pyranees amd moved into southern France. There they were defeated by the Frankish leader Charles Martel at the Battle of Poitiers (732). The Moors moved back accross the Pyraneees and never again seriously threatened France.

Islamic Caliphate (8th-10th centuries)

Moorish invaders after conquering the Visigoths conquered almost all of the Iberian Peninsula (711-718). The invasion was a part of the conquests of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate. Only a few small areas in the mountaneous north (modern Asturias) managed to remain under Christian control--Navarre and Aragon. It looked for a while that the Iberian Peninsula would become Muslim. There were mass conversions to Islam (10th and 11th centuries). Córdoba was the Spanish capital of the Caliphate. It became the richest and most sophisticated city in western Europe.

Medieval Iberian Kingdoms (10th-15th centuries)

Both Moorish and Christian kindoms developed on the Iberian Peninsula. A small Christian kingdom held out in the northwest. And difference developed within Moorish Spain. The major one was the division between Morrs of Berber (North African) origins and Muslims of Middle Eastern origins. This along with the decline of the Caliphate itself resulted in the emergence of independent Muslim kingdoms--the competing Taifa kingdoms. The fall of the Caliphate and competition among the Taifa kingdoms before Iberia had been thoroughly Islmicized provided the opportunity for the small Christian states. The Christiahs in the north consolidated their independence and enlarge dtheir territory. Gradually the Christian territories emerged as kingdoms. This included Aragon, Catalonia, Leon, and Navare. Castile developed out of Leon. The fall of central city of Toledo was the turning point in the Reconquista (1085). Possession of Toldeo in central Spain confirmed Christian control of northern Spain and an entryport into the south. Gradually Aragon and Castille emerged as the two most important Christian kingdoms.

The Reconquista

The Arab armies fired by Islam reached Western Europe in the 8th century, sweeping over the Iberian Peninsula, but turned back by the Franks at Tours. One small Christian kingdom remained unconquered--Asturias. Here the Visigothic claimant held out. What followed was the reconquest of the Iberian Penninsula by a long series of Christian kings. It is a complicated story. It is not entirely clear why the Moors tolerated a Visigothic Christizn kingdom south of the Pyrenees. But within only a few years, Asturias established itself and expanded to an extent that the Moors were unable to dislodge it, What followed was not a war between Christians and Moors. Several Chiistian kingdomes emerged (Asturias, Castile, Catalonia, Navarre, Leon, and Portugal). King Sancho of Navarre united most of the Christian kingdoms, but they did no stay united. The Iberian Peninsula at the time was very different than the intolerant regime dominated by the Inquisition. Iberia was the most tolerant and progressive area of Europe where the people of the Book lived in close contact and harmony with one another. Spanish universities were rare centers of learning in the European medieval Dark Age. The Reconquista was not a simple straightfoeward matter. Not only were their wars between Moors and Christaians, but wars among Moors and Christians. Also both Moors and Christains sought allies from their co-religionists as well as princes and nobels of the other faith. Finally with the growing power of Castile, Christians moved south and one Muslim principality after another fell. The last Muslim kingdom to fall was Granada (1492)

Aragon and Castille: Unifying Spain (1478-1516)

Aragon and Castille were united by the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille (1469). It was a personal union with the two kingdoms remainly largely indenendent. The Catholic monarchs were co-rulers and pursued the Reconquista. They sseized the Canary Islands (1478). The last Muslim kingdom (Granada) fell (1492). In that sane years the Jews and Muslims were expelled and Columbus discovered the Americas--the beginning of the Spanish Empire. Isabella and Ferdinand began the centralization of their kingdoms and royal authority at the expense of the local nobility. Itwas diring their reigns that the word España began to be used. Isabella and Ferdinand had five surviving children, four girls and one boy: they were Isabella, John, Joan, Maria and Catherine. Queen Isabella insisted the girls be educated and trained to rule. The secession is complicated because Isabella and Ferdinand were co-rulers and their only son before inheriting the throne. Their only son to survive infancy was Don Juan, Prince of Asturias. He was to inherit the throne of a united Spain. Don Juan still a teenager married Margaret of Austria (1480-1530) in the Cathedral of Burgos (1497). Only 6 months later while traveling to attend the wedding of his older sister in Portugal, he died in Salamanca. It is believed after contracting tuberculosis. He left his wife Margaret pregnant, but she gave birth to a stillborn child. Princess Isabella became Queen of Portugal, but she died in child birth only a year after Don Juan (1498). Her son Miguel died while still a small child (1501?). Catherine married England's Prince Arthur and when he died Prince Henry who became King Henry VIIId, but after a long marriage he divorced her when she failed to produce a male heir. It was through Joan/Juanna that the Spanish royal line would pass. She married the Hapsburg prince, Philip the Handsome (1478-1506). His father was the Archduke Maximilian of Austria who would become the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. Through his mother Mary of Burgundy he inherited most of the Burgundian state. Joan developed mental problems as is known as Joana/Juanna the Mad. Philip briefly succeeded to the kingdom of Castile on the death of Isabella (1504). He was the first Spanish Habsburg ruler. Thus he is sometimes referred to as Philip I. He never inherited his father's Austrian territories or became Holy Roman Emperor, because he died before his father (1506). Ferdinand rulled for another 12 years after Isabella's death, dieing in Madrigalejo (1516). He was succeeded by his grandson Charles, the son of Philip and his daughter Joan. Charles became the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V--the most powerful soverign in Europe, inheriting the Hapsburg Austrian and Spanish possessions and new Spanish American Empire.


Spain as a result of the Reconqista, the most accomplished military power in Europe. With the influx of gold and silver from its American colonies, Spain with its army and navy a country of enormous military power. Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian's son Philip I married Princess Juanna daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Castille and Aragon, the first Christian rulars of a united Spain in 7 centuries. Philip became king when they died in 1504, the first Spanish Hapsburg. Emperor Charles V (King Charles I of Spain) was the son of Philip I. He thus inherited Spain and its wealthy overseas empire, parts of Italy (Naples, Sicily. Sardinia, Milan, Mantua, Parma, and Piacenza), the Netherlands, parts of France (Burgandy and Franche-Comté), and the Habsburg German and Austrian possessions. The Hapsburg domains dominated Continental Europe, surronding Burobon France and soon to threaten England. Vast quantities of gold and silver from the American possessions flowed into the Hapsburg coffers which combuined with their extensive possessions gave them enormous power. Philip II with his decission to send the Armada against England waisted vast amounts of wealth. The gold and silver from the Americas proved in the end a curse. (Not unlike many modern oil producing countries.) Arab Spanish manufacture suffered as it was easier to ourchase rather than make products. In addition the religious persucutioin led by Holy Office of the Inquisition which expelled the Jews acted to supress though as well. Thus Spain did not share in the European Renaisance which was in the 18th century to lead to the Industrial Revolution. The Spanish Hapsburg line ended in 1700 and led to the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714). Under the Peace of Utrecht (1713) and the treaty of Rastatt (1714), Spain shifted from a Hapsburg to a French Bourbon possession. In conpensation, the Austrian branch of the family obtained Spain's Italian possessions (except for Sicily) and also the southern Netherlands.


Philip, Duke of Anjou, was both grandson of King Louis XIV ofFrance and great-grandson of King PhilipIV of Spain. Charles II, childless only son ofPhilip IV, named Philip of Anjou as his successor; the death of Charles precipitated theWar of the Spanish Succession, after which Philip of Anjoubecame King Philip V of Spain. He was succeeded by his sons, Ferdinand VIand Charles III. Charles III had twosons, the elder of whom became King CharlesIV (q.v.) of Spain; the younger becameKing Ferdinand IV of Naples, founder ofthe Neapolitan (Italian) House of Bourbon. The Emperor Napoleon I deposedCharles IV, but the Bourbons were restoredunder the son of Charles, Ferdinand VII, who was succeeded by his daughter,Isabella II. Her succession was disputed by Ferdinand's brother, Don Carlosde Borbon, as a violation of the Salic Law; those supporting Carlos and hisdescendants were known as Carlists. Isabella'sson, Alfonso XII, and her grandson, AlfonsoXIII, were the last Bourbon kings of Spain; the latter was deposed in 1931. Some basic information is available on modern Spanish kings. The monarchy was ended in 1931 with the creation of the Spamish Republic which was over thrown by Francisco Franco. The monarchy was restored as part of the sucession arranged by Franco.

Philip V (1700-46)

King Philip V of Spain was born in 1638. He became the first Bourbon king of Spain in 1700. He was King Louis XIV of France's granson. Before rising to the Spanish throne he was the Duke of Anjou. Charles II of Spain chose Philip as his successor and setting off the war of the Spanish Succession.

Ferdinand VI (1746-59)

Charles III (1759-1788)

Charles was the son of King Philip V by his second marriage with Queen Isabella Elizabeth (Farnese) and was a grandson of French King Louis XIV. He was not initially in line to become king of Spain. This Parma and Piacenza in Italy were obtained for him as a youth to gratify the ambitions of his mother. Still a young prince, in 1734 he invaded the two Sicilies which at the time belonged to Austria. Charles succedded to the Spanish throne in 1759 on the death of his childless half-brother, Ferdinand VI. He allied Spain with France against Britain in the Seven Years War. Spain was forced to ceed Florida. Spain again joined France to assist the American colonies against the British. Efforts to take Gibralter in 1781 and 1782 failed. Some domestic reforms proved more succesful. The Jesuits wre expelled (1767). Major progress was made in restricting the reach of the Inquisition. He also made profress in reducing bringandage and piracy. He supported commerece, the arts, and science.

Charles IV (1788-1808)

Charles IV (1748-1819) had the misfortune of reigning during the tumultous period of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. He succeded from his father, Charles III because his older brother was retarded. The Spanish master Goya was a court artist and painted several highly relalistic portraits of the royal family. Unlike his father, he proved to be ineffectual as king. After only a few years (1792) he turned the government over to his first minister, Godoy. Godoy was the favorite of his wife, María Luisa of Parma. After the French Revolution turned increasingly radical, King Charles like other European monarchs, entered the First Coalition against the new French Republic (1793). The war did not go well and Spain in 1795 made peace with France, signing the second Treaty of Basel. King Charles was one of the few European monrachs to ally themselves with Napoleonic France, especially interesting because Charles was a Bourbon king. Spain with the Treaty of San Ildefonso (1796) joined Spain France in a war with England that was mostly fought at sea. The French and Spanish suffered a major naval defeat at Cape St. Vincent (1797) and a disastrous defeat at Trafalgar (1805) totly destroying Spain as a sea power. Trafalgar left Britain in undisputed command of the sea for a century. The convention of Fontainebleau (1807) led to the Peninsular Campaign of the Napoleonic Wars. King Charles, who was attempting to seieze Portugal, allowed a French army to cross Spain and to fight the British in Portugal. Latter French Emperor Napoleon Nonaparte turned on King Charles and the French marched on Madrid, a popular uprising led to a coup at Aranjuez (1808). King Charles was forced to abdicate in favor of his son, Ferdinand VII. Napoleon then duped both Charles and King Ferdinand who had tried to reach an understanding with him, into a meeting at Bayonne, France. Onece there, he forced both Cgharles and Ferdinand to abdicate. Napoleon made his brother Joseph Bonaparte king of Spain. Napoleon kept both captive in France until 1814, when Alloed armies invaded France and forced Napoleon to surender.

Ferdinand VII (1808-33)

Ferdinand VII (1784-1833) was the son of King Charles IV and Queen María Luisa of Parma. He proved to be even more inept as king than his father. He was exclude from any governmental role by his father and Chief Minister Godoy who Ferdinad came to hate. As a result, he he became the center of various plots against Godoy who became very unpoular with the Soanis people. Ferdinand toyed at gaining support from Napoleon who was closely following developments in Spain. King Vharles aresyed his son and accused him of plotting to dethrone him and murder his mother and Godoy who was closely associated with the Queen. His parents reortedly forgave him which seems difficult to understand if the charges were true. The image of the royal family was badly tarnished. This helped convince Napoleon that the time was right to seize Spain. A French army was already in Portugal fighting the Britush. The French invasion launched a new phase of the Penisular Campaign. A palace revolution at Aranjuez resulted in the the dismissal of Godoy and the abdication of Ferdinand's father. Ferdinand VII was enthusiastically received by the Spanish people. Ferdinand was convinced that his army could not effectively resist the French and that an arrangent was necessay with Napoleon. He refussed the Portuguese option of resisting Napoleon from the Spanish colonies in America. He was duped by Napoleon into a meeting accross the border at Bayonne. Napoleon refused to negotuiate and demanded that Ferdinand abdicate in favor of his father. Napoleon than forced his father to abdigate again and Napoleon put his brother Joseph Bonaparte on the throne. Thus during the vicious fighting of the Peninsular Campaign (1807-14), Ferdinand was imprisoned by Napoleon in France. Spanish nationalists, including those with liberal sentients, resisted the French and with assisrtance from the British under the Duke of Wellington involved Napoleon in a debilitating campaign that lasted until Napoleon's. The Spanish Cortes approved a liberal constitution in Ferdinand's name (1812). Elements in Spain's American colonies pushed for more democratic government in Ferdinand's name. After Napoleon's defeat, Ferdinand was restored to the Spanish throne (1814). He proved to be very different than what the liberals had expected. He proved as reactionary as the French bourbons. He immediately revoked the liberal constitution of 1812 and attempted to rule as an absolute monarch. Several uprisings failed. The liberals organized into increasingly effective secret societies (the Carbonari) and finally succeeded. They forced the King to reinstate the constitution (1820). The reactionary Holy Alliance was concerned not only about events in Spain, but what it might lead to elsewhere. The European powers discussed the matter at the Congress of Troppau, but failed to reach an agreed course of action. At the Confress of Verona, France was scantioned by the Holy Alliance to intervene in Spain (1822). King Ferdinand this supported by a French ally again abolished the constitution and ruthlessly retaliated against the liberal opposition (1823). It was during Ferdinand's reign that Spain lost most of its American colonies. During the turmoil of the Napoleonic Wars, the American colonists had exercized effective political power and there was considerable reluctance to retuen to absolutist ruke from Madrid. Dredinand died 10 years after reestablishing absolute rule in 1833, but even his death caused serious difficulties for Spain. He had maried four times. His last wife, Maria Christina (1806-78), convinced him to suspend the Salic law requiring succession through the male line. This allowed his so that his only surviving child, Princess Isabella (1830-1904), would succeed. This excluded Ferdinand's younger brother, Don Carlos (1788-1855). On Ferdinand's death in 1833 a civil war ensued called the Carlist Wars erupted. Liberals backed Isabella II, still a small child. Reactionary forces supported Don Carlos.

Isabella II (1833-74)

Isabella was the daughter of Ferdinand VII. His decission to suspend the Salic Law and to allow his infant daughter to succed him was disputed by his brother Charles. The ensuing Carlista War pitted the loberals who backed Isabella's claim against the more reactionary forces who backed Charles' claim to the throne.

Rebellion (1868)

A rebellion in 1868 ousted Queen Isablla in 1868. There were so many German royal families, that the search eventually considred German candidates. Of course a Spanish king would have to be Catholic. The Spanish in looking for a replacement offered the crown to the Caholic or senior branch of the Hohenzollerns. Leopold Hohenzollern of Sigmaringen was offered the crown in 1870. (Another family member ecame King Carol of Romania.) King Wilhelm I as the reigning family head was asked for permission. He had his doubts. Bismarck was, however, in favor although his motivations are not precisely clear. There is no evidence that he desired a war, but in the end the result was the Franco Prussian War. [Ludwig, p. 337.] Napoleon III demanded that the offer be rejected. It was, but then the French made a mistake in demanding King Wilhelm aplogize.

Alfonso XII (1874-85)

Alfonso XII, King of Spain (1874-85), was a popular monarch who consolidated the monarchy, suppressed republican agitation, restored order, and introduced a modern constitution. Alfonso was born in Madrid during 1857. His father was Francisco de Asis, King of Spain (1822- ). His mother was Isabella II de Bourbon, Queen of Spain (1830- ). His mother took him from Spain when she was deposed in the Revolution of 1868. He was eduavted in Paris, Vienna, and England (Sanhurst). His mother formally abdicated in 1870, but Alfonso did not return to Spain to exercie his rights until 1875 when Gerneral Arsenio Martinez de Campos, a monarchist, summoned him to assume the throne. Alfonso defeated the remaining Carlists and introduced a modern constitution. He married in 1878 to Maria Cristina of Austria. They had three children: Maria de las Mercedes (1880- ), Maria Theresa de Bourbon (1882- ), and Alfonso XIII (1886- ). Alfonso XII died in 1885 before is only son and heir was born in 1886.

Figure 1.--This charming family group from Spain shows Queen Victoria-Eugenie who was married to King Alfonso XIII of Spain. The two older boys in the picture (in smart Eton collars) renounced their rights of succession to the Spanish throne. The lad third from right is Prince Juan, Count of Barcelona, whose son Juan Carlos is now King of Spain. This photograph was taken in 1920.

Alfonso XIII (1886-1931)

Alfonso XIII was one of Spain's longest ruling monarchs. He was King of Spain from 1886-1931. Alfonso mairred Victoria-Eugenie (one of Queen Victoria's forty grandchildren, who died in 1969. She was also a Battenberg, her mother was Princess Beatrice and her father Price Henry of Battenberg. King Alfonso XIII had six children. One Prince Juan Carlos would eventually regain the Spanish crown for his son that his father lost. Alfonso XIII supported the military dictatorship (1923-30) of Miguel Primo de Rivera, but social unrest and a republican election victory led to his deposition and exile (1931). The resulting Republic was attacked in 1936 by rebel forced organized by Francisco Franco who commanded Spain's forces in Morocco. The resulting Civil War horrified Europe and was in effect the prelude to World war II. Aided by NAZI Germany and Fascist Italy, Franco won and Franco ruled until his death in 1975. Alfonso XIII hoped that Franco would reinstall him on the throne, but he refused to do so and instead instituted Fascist rule. Alfonso died in 1941 at the height of World War II.

Francisco Franco (1938-75)

There were terrible reprisals against the Republicans in the early years of Franco's Government. Franco continued to run a reprsive regime, but two positive things can be said of him. He kept Spain out of the World War II. In this Admiral Canaris, the head of German military inteligence, secretly advised him to stand up to Hitler's demands in 1941 to allow the Whermacht to move through Spain to seize Gibralter. Franco carefully followed the education of Prince Juan Carlos. His father who lived in exile in Ialy insisted that the boy be educated in Spanish schools and with Franco's approval serve in the Spanish military. Thus Franco's agents could report on his suitability as a future king.

Alfonso Carlos I

Don Alfonso de Borbon y Austria-Este was born in London on September 12, 1849. Hisparents were the Infante Don Juan, later Don Juan III and Doña Maria Beatriz de Austria-Esteand his godfather his uncle King Don Carlos VI. He was given the names Alfonso Carlos Fernando José Juan Pío. He shared all the vicissitudes of exile with his brother Don Carlos who later would become Carlos VII. At age 19 he decided that he needed to acquire military training and joined the Papal forces. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1869. In 1870, as a lieutenant in the Pontifical Volunteers he defended the Pian gate at the Vatican against the advance of Victor Emanuel ofSavoy’s army; with only 100 hundred men he checked the advance of a 15,000 man force. Given the order to surrender, he refused to turn over his sword which had belonged to hisillustrious grandfather King Carlos V and escaped to Toulon on a French naval vessel to rejoin his brother who was King of Spain at the time. In April of 1871, in Bavaria, he married his cousin Doña Maria de las Nieves de Braganza. During the 1872-76 war he was appointed commanding general of the Royal Army of Cataloniaby his brother and distinguished himself at Alpens leading his Carlist Volunteers and sharing thehard life of front line service with his wife. In the Great War the Infante Don Carlos took on important humanitarian functions helping war wounded and prisoners. At age 81 he took on the heavy burden of the Spanish Crown from his nephew Don Jaime III taking on the dynastic name of Alfonso Carlos I in order not to offend the susceptibilities of his relative, the deposed Don Alfonso XIII. Thus, he intelligently established a doctrine incompatible with the liberal principles espoused by Don Alfonso XIII who hoped to inherit Carlist legitimacy at the death of the King, according to the conversations with Don Jaime which as we have mentioned took place shortly before hisdemise. The old King made a grave mistake when he chose his successor and gave him the title of Regent, because by so doing he did not name anyone who could take up the banner of Carlism as legitimate King of Spain. He established a Regency in the person of a nephew of his wife’s, Don Javier de Borbón Parma, whose intrigues and personal ambitions have been hindrances fromwhich the Traditional Communion has suffered until very recently. Carlism was then joined with General Franco’s National Movement with the full consent of King Don Alfonso Carlos who died in an auto accident in Vienna on September 28, 1936. Upon his death, Carlist traditionalism split with a majority supporting the candidacy to the Crown of the Regent Don Javier de Borbón-Parma, however the dynasty was to survive in the person of Archduke Don Carlos de Austria-Este y Borbón.

Juan Carlos I (1975- )

Juan Carlos was born in 1938. He waas instated as King of Spain in 1975 after Franco's death. He was the grandson of Alfonso XIII. He was born on January 5th, 1938 in Rome, where the Royal Family was living at that time, having had to leave Spain when the Republic wasproclaimed in 1931. His father, Don Juan de Borbon y Battenberg, Count of Barcelona and head of the Spanish Royal Household ever since King Alfonso XIII had relinquished thisstatus, and his mother, Dona Maria de las Mercedes de Borbon y Orleans. At the express wish of his father, he was educated in Spain, which he visited for the first time at 10 years of age. He completed his Baccalaureate in 1954 at the San Isidro School in Madrid, and in 1955 began his studies at the Academies and Military Colleges of the Army, the Navy andthe Air Force. During this time he carried out his practice voyage as a midshipman on thetraining ship Juan Sebastian Elcano and qualified as a military pilot. In 1960.61 he completedhis education at Madrid's Complutense University, where he studied constitutional andinternational law, economics and taxation. He married (1962) Princess Sophia of Greece, the eldest daugther of King Paul Iand Queen Federika, in Athens. After their honeymoon, the Prince and Princess went to live atthe Palacio de la Zarzuela, on the outskirts of Madrid, which is still their residence. In 1963 the first of their three children, Princess Elena, was born, followed, two years later, by Princess Cristina and finally, in 1968, by Prince Felipe. Generalisimo Francisco Franco named him (1969) his successor as ruler. Upon Franco's death (1975), Juan Carlos he became the firstSpanish king since his grandfather was deposed in 1931. Personally popular, he has proven to be a strong forcefor Spanish political stability and democracy. He successfully foiled a right-wing military coup in 1981. He and Queen Sophia have three children: Elena, Princess of Spain, Cristina,Princess of Spain and Felipe, Prince of Bourbon. Juan Carlos was crowned in 1975 bringing an end to more than 44 years ofexile for the Spanish monarchy. Franco, himself enabled the monarchy to rule again, by stating that Juan Carlos should be his successor with the title King', on his death. To reconcile two rival Spains and help to introduce democracy without excluding those who scorned it, a man was needed who stood above the fray yet had the human touch: a new kind of king, a king with dignity but without haughtiness, a king with style but without arrogance. Widely acknowledged as a key figure in Spain's remarkable transition to democracyfollowing General Franco's death in 1975. It was one of the most pleasant and eagerly expected restorations of the monarchy that the worldhas ever seen, and Juan Carlos has proven himself to the people of Spain, by being a symbol of unity and stablility. His current duties include: sanctioning and proclaiming new laws; dissolving and callingparliament elections; being the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and puttingforward candidates for elections.

Felipe De Borbon

Felipe is the Prince of Asturias or Crown Prince of Spain. Hecis the son of Juan Carlos I and Sophia Of Greece OLDENBURG and was born in 1968. Crown Prince Felipe de Borbon y Grecia, was the third child of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. He was born in Madrid. His birth, which ensured the male succesion to the Crown was a dynastic event whose importancewas emphasized in the symbolic names he was given at his shristening of Felipe, Juan, Pablo andAlfonso de Todos los Santos, the names of the first Bourbon to reign in Spain, his paternal andmaternal grandfathers, the Count of Barcelona and King Paul of the Hellenes, and his greatgrandfather King Alfonso XIII, and in the fact that his godparents were the head of the Spanish Royal Hosehold and Queen Victoria Eugenia, who set foot on Spanish soil for this purpose for thefirst time since 1931. He began his education at Santa Maria de los Rosales school, a modern institution where he couldfit in without any special distinctions, where he remained until 1984. Heir to the Throne since the proclamation of his father as King, 1975, in 1977 he received the titleof prince of Asturias, together with those of Prince of Girona and Viana, the titles vested in the first born of the Kingdoms of Castile, Aragon and Navarre, the union of which in the 15th century gave rise to the Spanish Monarchy. Having completed his secondary studies, he did a years preparation for university at Lakefield College School in Canada, and then began his military training at Academies and Colleges of thethree services for a period of 3 years. In 1987 he did his practice voyage as a midshipman on the Navy training ship the Juan Sebastian Elcano, during which he was received by the Presidents of Argentina, Brazil, the United States, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay. On January 30th, 1986, at the age of 18, he took the oath of loyalty in the Cortes to the Constitution and the King, thus taking on his full institutional role as heir to the Throne. From 1987 to 1993 he studied at Madrid's Autonomous University, where he took his degree in law, and also attended courses on economics. At the present time he is doing a masters course oninternational relations at the University of Georgetown, in Washington. In the last few years he has made several official visits to European countries and Latin America, aswell as Australia, New Zealand and Morocco. He is honorary president of the Spanish Section of the Association of European Journalists, the Autonomous University Foundation and the Prince of Asturias Foundation, where each year hepresents the prestigious international prizes bear his name. He takes part in several sports, such as skiing, motocross and, especially, sailing. He was a member of the Olympic sailing team in the Barcelona Games in 1992, and took part in the opening ceremonyas the Spanish team's standard bearer.


Ludwig, Emil. Bismarck: The Story of a Fighter (Little Brown, Boston, 1927), 661p.


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Created: January 8, 1998
Last updated: 10:29 PM 6/12/2013