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Elsa M. 04-04-2005 12:18 PM

Biography of King Felipe
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Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos, the third child of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, was born at Nuestra Señora de Loreto private hospital, in Madrid, on January 30th, 1968.

His birth, which ensured the male succession to the Throne, was a dynastic event whose importance was emphasized in the symbolic names he was given at his christening: the names of the first Bourbon to reign in Spain, his paternal and maternal grandfathers and his great grandfather King Alfonso XIII. His godparents were HRH the Count of Barcelona, Juan de Borbon, and his great-grandmother, Queen Victoria Eugenia, who then set foot on Spanish soil for the first time since 1931.

Being heir to the throne since the proclamation of his father as King (1975), he received the title of prince of Asturias in 1977, 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 gave rise to the Spanish Monarchy, in the XVI century. He also holds the peerages of Duke of Montblanc, Count of Cervera and Lord of Balaguer.

On January 30th, 1986, at the age of eighteen, 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.
The Banner and Standard of H.R.H. The Prince of Asturias were created by Royal Decree 284/2001, where his Coat of Arms, his Banner and his Standard are described.

Photos: courtesy of Brigitte Gastel Lloyd

Elsa M. 04-04-2005 12:20 PM

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Felipe has received an exclusive education and a privileged preparation (he’s said to be the better prepared prince of Europe), having travelled all over the world.

The Heir to the Throne began his education at Santa Maria de los Rosales School, a modern institution, located in Aravaca, close to the Palace of La Zarzuela, and where he could fit in without any special distinctions. But in spite of all the efforts, he could never judge himself a normal person. The first time he verified this cruel circumstance, was on the birthday of a classmate. It was an infantile celebration which Felipe wanted very much to attend. But his illusion was soon deflated like a balloon. All the class was invited, except him. Why? He was born a Prince and the mother of his friend did not know how she could send an invitation to the Palace…

Those days, the King and Queen were constantly travelling abroad and the young Felipe was used to see his parents always up and down the stairways of airplanes. So, when he was asked, in a school test, what was his father’s job, the young prince answered: "My father works in airplanes".

Photos: courtesy of Brigitte Gastel Lloyd and Polfoto

Elsa M. 04-04-2005 12:21 PM

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Military training

At the age of fifteen, once he has completed his secondary studies, he did a year as preparation for university at Lakefield College School in Canada. That year, he learned how to survive. Later on, he began his military training at Academies and Colleges of the three services, from September 1985 to July 1988.

Surely, his main difficulty was to wake up early in the morning. He sleeps placidly and deeply, like a baby. At the military school of San Javier, he used to have four clocks around the bed… Not enough. During his preparation at the three academies, he was punished several times, and always for the same reason: to arrive late at formation.

The ranks he holds in the Spanish Armed Forces today are those of Commander of the General Land Army Corps (Infantry), Lieutenant Commander in the General Navy and Commander of the General Air Force. He is also a helicopter pilot (qualified for instrument flight in Air Force Squadron 402) and has his Helicopter Pilot’s Wings for both the Land Army and the Navy.

Photos: courtesy of Brigitte Gastel Lloyd and Polfoto

Elsa M. 04-04-2005 12:22 PM

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His education was finally completed at the Autonomous University of Madrid, where he took his degree in law, and also a number of subjects from the Economics syllabus, in order to round off his training in that area. In September of 1993, he went to Washington, to get a Master’s in International Affairs, by the University of Georgetown, where he was graduated on May 26th, 1995.

Photos: courtesy of Brigitte Gastel Lloyd and Spanish Royal House Website

Elsa M. 04-04-2005 12:27 PM

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Activities in Spain

Since completing his academic studies in the United States, Prince Felipe has fulfilled his institutional commitments in his capacity as Heir to the Throne, chaired many official events in Spain and participated in key events in different sectors and aspects of the Spanish public life. He has paid a series of official visits to the various Spanish Communities and holds regular meetings with constitutional or State institutions, as well as the Central and Autonomous Administration, as required by his activities.

Furthermore, he grants public and private audiences to a large number of people, with the aim of receiving up-to-date information on national and international affairs, and presides over the annual presentation of despatches to Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of the three Services, in representation of HM the King.

Elsa M. 04-04-2005 12:29 PM

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Activities abroad

In the last years, HRH the Prince of Asturias has made several official visits abroad, having represented the SpanishState at the swearing-in ceremonies for the Latin American Presidents.

He has also played a very active role in the promotion of Spain's economic and commercial interests abroad, as well as the Spanish language and culture in foreign countries, being especially interested in promoting the creation of Centres and University Chairs, to disseminate the history and current situation of Spain in the main foreign universities throughout the world.

Photo: courtesy of the Spanish Royal House Website

Elsa M. 04-04-2005 12:30 PM

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In addition to that, Prince Felipe is also the honorary president of several Associations, such as the Prince of Asturias Foundation, where he annually presents the prestigious international prizes bear his name.

Within the framework of these institutions, he focuses his interest on development projects, voluntary work, environment, universities, integration of young people in the workplace and business, relations between business circles and society, etc.

On the occasion of the United Nations' Declaration of 2001 as the International Year of Volunteers, Kofi Annan named Prince Felipe an Eminent Person, so that he could contribute on an international level, towards enhancing the importance of voluntary workers.

Photos: courtesy of Brigitte Gastel Lloyd and Spanish Royal House Website

Elsa M. 04-04-2005 12:31 PM

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Special interests

Felipe likes to watch the sky and observing the mysteries of the stars with a telescope, a liking that he acquired during his stay at the ship-school Juan Sebastián Elcano. The Prince is also a fan of potato tortilla, Coca-Cola and Alvarez Gomez’s cologne, a trilogy of such normality he has been searching for his whole life, despite everything else.

He measures 1,97m high and wears shoes nr. 44,5; a sweeping stature allied to a strict sense of discipline that approximate him to a true sportsman. And that’s probably what he would be in life, wasn’t he the heir to one of the most attractive Royal Houses in the world.

One day, when visiting a school on the outskirts of Madrid, a boy asked him: "Do you like to be a prince"? Felipe smiled, wrinkled the lips and said: "I do not have another remedy"!

Being a keen sportsman, he takes part in several activities, such as skiing, motocross and especially sailing. The Prince took part of the Spanish sailing team, during the Barcelona Olympic Games of 1992 (he finished in the sixth position, what granted him an Olympic Diploma), and took part in the opening ceremony, as the Spanish team' s standard bearer.

Elsa M. 04-04-2005 03:08 PM

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On November 1st, 2003, T.M. the King and Queen announced the engagement of their son, H.R.H. the Prince of Asturias, to Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, solemnised on May 22nd 2004, at the Cathedral of Santa María la Real de la Almudena, in Madrid.

Elsa M. 11-07-2005 09:43 AM

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Their first child, Infanta Leonor, was born two years after the engagement announcement, on October 31st 2005.
Prince could then express not only the institutional joy of the Crown, but also the unmistakable emotion of a man turned into a father:

"It's the most beautiful thing that can happen to anyone in life. We are radiantly happy."

Photos from Elmundo and Casa Real:

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