Childhood and Early Life
Felipe was born on January 30, 1968, at the 'Our Lady of Loreto Clinic' in Madrid, to Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sofía of Greece and Denmark. He has two elder sisters, Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo, and Infanta Cristina of Spain.
Felipe went to 'Santa María de los Rosales' and graduated high school from 'Lakefield College School' in Ontario, Canada. He is a law major from the 'Autonomous University of Madrid.' He has also studied economics. Felipe did his MS in foreign service from the 'School of Foreign Service' at 'Georgetown University.'
The Archbishop of Madrid, Casimiro Morcillo, baptized Felipe on February 8, 1968, at the 'Palace of Zarzuela,' with the water of the Jordan River and gave him his baptismal name, “Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos Los Santos.”
He was titled ''infante'' shortly after his birth, even though his father was not announced the king by then. The general of Spain, Francisco Franco, died just months before Felipe turned 8, and his father ascended the throne. Felipe attended the official announcement ceremony on November 22, 1975, which marked his first public appearance.
In 1977, Felipe was announced as the Prince of Asturias, while on May 28, he was proclaimed the honorary soldier of the ‘1st King's Immemorial Infantry Regiment.’ In 1981, Felip's father handed over the 'Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece' to him.
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Training & Mandatory Duties
In August 1985, a Royal Decree named him the officer at the 'General Military Academy' in Zaragoza, where he began his military training in September and completed the first phase of formation the following month.
On January 30, 1986, which marked his 18th birthday, as part of the mandatory ceremonial declaration of his role as heir to the throne, Felipe swore his loyalty to the Constitution and the King, in the ‘Spanish Parliament.’ He took an oath to fulfil all his duties to ensure law and order and respect the autonomous communities and the rights of the citizens.
In July 1986, Felipe was moved up to the post of cadet 2nd lieutenant and was also named midshipman. In September that year, he joined the ‘Third Brigade’ for his naval training at the 'Escuela Naval Militar' in Pontevedra.
In January 1987, he was moved to the training ship 'Juan Sebastián Elcano' for the rest of his naval training. In July, as a student ensign, Felipe was enrolled at the 'Academia General del Aire' in Murcia, where he began his air force training.
In 1989, Felipe got three promotions. He was made a lieutenant in the army, followed by an ensign in the navy, and then a lieutenant in the air force. In 1992, he was made a captain of the air force, and in 1993, he was promoted to the post of lieutenant in the navy. He was then made a captain in the infantry.
Felipe became the first Bourbon to use the Aragonese-Catalan title of “Prince of Girona,” when he started using it publicly on April 21, 1990, while on a trip around Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia.
Felipe was part of the 'Spanish Olympic' sailing team for the 1992 ‘Barcelona Games.’ The team finished sixth in the soling event.
Felipe was finally commissioned as a lieutenant colonel in the army, a frigate captain in the navy, and a lieutenant colonel in the air force, before he ascended to the throne. He was also a certified helicopter pilot.
As the heir to the throne, Felipe released a regulated and structured military training plan. He hosted many official events in Spain and participated in various activities from different sectors and aspects of Spanish public life.
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Since October 1995, as a representative of Spain, Felipe has been visiting the Spanish autonomous communities, making contacts with Spaniards from all spheres of life. He eventually began attending events on behalf of his father.
In January 1996, Felipe started representing the Spanish State at several Latin American presidents' inauguration ceremonies and played a crucial role in the promotion of Spain's economic, commercial, and cultural interests abroad.
Along with his sisters, Felipe participated in a public demonstration to condemn the March 2004 Madrid bombings.
Felipe serves as an honorary president of the Spain chapter of the 'Association of European Journalists,' the 'Codespa Foundation,' and most importantly, the ‘Príncipe de Asturias Foundation,’ where he supervises the prestigious 'Princess of Asturias Awards' (previously the 'Prince of Asturias Awards').
In 2001, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Felipe as a "UN-Eminent Person" during the 'UN International Year of Volunteers.' Felipe has been an avid 'Atlético Madrid' supporter and has been an honorary president of the football club since 2003.
Ascension to the Throne
On June 2, 2014, King Juan Carlos announced Felipe's ascension to the throne. He ascended the throne at the stroke of midnight on June 19. His father had already authorized his abdication to the organic law just a few hours earlier.
The next morning, Felipe received the Captain General's sash from his father and was formally pronounced the King by Jesús Posada, the president of the ‘Congress of Deputies,’ in a low-key ceremony, in the Cortes. He took the oath to abide by the Constitution, before the formal accession. With this, Felipe became the Capitán General (commander-in-chief) of all Spanish armies.
With Felipe's induction to the throne, he became the youngest monarch in Europe, taking over King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, who is just 9 months elder to him.
In June 2014, Felipe and his wife became the first Spanish monarch and consort to recognize LGBT organizations at the ‘Palace.’ Felipe also released a modified protocol that allowed people to take the oath of office without a crucifix or the ‘Bible.’
In February 2015, Felipe announced that he would reduce his annual salary by 20% in the wake of the economic recession that plagued the country back then.
Family & Personal Life
In his bachelor years, Felipe had been linked with Spanish noblewoman Isabel Sartorius (around 1989 to 1991). Two of his alleged girlfriends were viewed unfavorably by the royal family. They were Isabel (the daughter of Marquis de Marino, who was a drug addict) and Norwegian lingerie model Eva Sannum.
Felipe finally got married to award-winning TV journalist Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano. The engagement was officially announced on November 1, 2003. The wedding took place on May 22, 2004, in the 'Almudena Cathedral,' Madrid. The ceremony was attended by royal family representatives from all across the world and higher officials from Latin America.
Felipe and Letizia have two daughters, Leonor, Princess of Asturias (born on October 31, 2005) and Infanta Sofía (born on April 29, 2007).
Felipe is Letizia's second husband.
Felipe is multilingual and can speak Spanish, Catalan, French, English, and some Greek. A sports enthusiast, he regularly attends all the Spanish, European, and 'Olympic' basketball championships. He plays the sport, too.