Who Will Be Next King, Queen Of Spain? 19 Things To Know About Prince Felipe, Princess Letizia Of Asturias

Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain
On Monday, June 2, King Juan Carlos of Spain announced he will be abdicating in favor of his son, Crown Prince Felipe. Here are some interesting facts about Prince Felipe and his wife, Princess Letizia, the future King and Queen of Spain. Reuters

On Monday, June 2, we woke up with the news that King Juan Carlos of Spain is abdicating the throne in favor of his son, Crown Prince Felipe. The King addressed the nation in a heartfelt speech, admitting that a younger generation should be taking the lead because they know the issues that affect them the most, and will be able to tackle them more successfully, the way he did with the concerns of his generation when he rose to the throne almost 40 years ago. King Juan Carlos is certain that his son, Prince Felipe is a man fit for this job, and at 46, he will become the new King of Spain, and his wife, Letizia Ortiz will be the new Queen. But, who exactly are these two? Here are 19 facts about the new King and Queen of Spain.

1. Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos de Borbón y de Grecia was born on January 30, 1968. He is the third child and only son of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía of Spain. He bears the official titles of Prince of Asturias, Prince of Gerona, Prince of Viana, Duke of Montblanc, Count of Cervera and Lord of Balaguer.

2. Felipe went to school at Santa Maria de los Rosales, a modern day school where he could fit in without special treatment. He attended high school at Lakefield College School in Ontario, Canada, and studied in the Autonomous University of Madrid, where he earned a degree in Law. He also completed several courses on economics. He obtained a Master of Science in Foreign Service degree from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

3. On 30 January 1986, at the age of 18, Felipe swore allegiance to the Constitution and to the King in the Spanish Parliament, fully accepting his institutional role as successor to the Crown.

4. The Prince has been present in 69 inaugurations around the world, starting with Guatemala’s Alvaro Arzu in January 1996, and the last one just last weekend in El Salvador, where the Prince of Asturias attended Salvador Sánchez Cerén’s rise to power. His presence in the inaugurations has allowed the future King of Spain to get in touch with numerous Latin American leaders and learn first-hand about what’s going on in the countries. He has maintained a friendly relationship representing the Spanish Crown.

5. Between the official commitments, Felipe also found time to date. His first known girlfriend was Spanish socialite Victoria de Carvajal. After that teen love, another girl made headlines for his relationship with the Prince, Isabel Sartorius, daughter of a Spanish nobleman. They dated for four years and even after the breakup they remain good friends. Once Felipe left to the US to continue his education, he was spotted with model Gigi Howard. He continued courting models like Yasmín Gahuri, Alicia Krezjlova and his most famous relationship before his marriage, Eva Sannum. They dated for four years causing great controversy since the Spanish people didn’t think of her as Princess material because of what she did for a living. In 2001, the couple confirmed their breakup.

6) Felipe was able to bounce back quickly. It is said that in 2002 Felipe grew interested in a famous news anchor and reporter, Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano. He called his friend Pedro Erquicia, who also happened to be a journalist and worked with Letizia, to ask him to host a dinner party to introduce the two of them. At the end of the dinner party, Felipe asked for Letizia’s number and proceeded to call her later. After multiple attempts of asking her out, Letizia finally agreed, and a relationship began between the two of them.

7. Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano was born on Sept. 15, 1972 in Oviedo, Principality of Asturias, Spain.

8. She attended La Gesta school in Oviedo, before her family moved to Madrid, where she went to high school at the Ramiro de Maetzu High School. She completed her superior studies in the Complutense University of Madrid, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree and Licentiate’s Degree in Sciences of the Information, in the branch of Journalism. She also finished a Master’s Degree in Audiovisual Journalism at the Institute for Studies in Audiovisual Journalism.

9. Letizia worked for the Asturian daily newspaper La Nueva España, the newspaper ABC and the news agency EFE while she was studying. After completing her studies, she went to Guadalajara, Mexico to work at the newspaper Siglo XXI. After returning to Spain, she worked for the Spanish version of Bloomberg and later moved to CNN+. In 2000 she started working for the news channel 24 Horas, part of TVE. In 2002, she anchored the weekly news report program Informe Semanal and later the daily morning news program Telediario Matinal on TVE 1. In August 2003, Letizia was promoted to anchor of the TVE daily evening news program Telediario 2, the most viewed newscast in Spain.

10. Letizia married Alonso Guerrero Pérez a high-school literature teacher, on August 7, 1998, in a simple civil ceremony at Almendralejo, in Badajoz, after a 10-year courtship. The marriage was dissolved by divorce in 1999. They had no children.

11) In 2002, Letizia met Prince Felipe of Asturias through a mutual friend. At first, she was hard to get, and apparently she wanted to keep their relationship in private since she didn’t want it to affect her career, which was at its peak. They managed to fly under the radar as much as they could until Nov. 1, 2003. That day it was announced by the Zarzuela Palace the official engagement of Prince Felipe and Letizia.

12. Five days later the Prince officially asked for her hand in marriage, and two weeks later the Royal Palace announced the wedding date: May 22, 2004. Shortly after the official announcements, Letizia left hjer job and moved to live in a wing of the Zarzuela Palace until the day of her wedding.

13. The ceremony was celebrated in La Almudena Cathedral, in Madrid. Since she had been married before in a civil ceremony and not by the church, she didn’t need a marriage annulment from the Pope, and she could marry the Prince in a religious ceremony. When the couple wed, Letizia became Princess of Asturias, Princess of Gerona, Princess of Viana, Duchess of Montblanc, Countess of Cervera and Lady of Balaguer.

14. Felipe and Letizia have two daughters, Leonor (born Oct. 31, 2005) and Sofía (born April 29, 2007).

15. Letizia joined the duties of her husband from the beginning and travelled extensively through Spain in representation of the King. They also represented Spain in other countries. The Princess has traveled along with the Prince to Jordan, Mexico, Hungary, the Dominican Republic, Panama, the United States of America, Serbia, Brazil, Uruguay, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, China and Portugal.

16. Her solo agenda was announced in 2006, shortly after the announcement of her second pregnancy. Letizia’s work focuses on social issues such as children rights, culture and education. In late 2007, her solo agenda started to grow in the quantity of events she performed by herself and Felipe's and Letizia's agendas became more distinct and separate.

17. The princess has also helped strengthen the role of Prince Felipe as a promoter of Spanish interests abroad through 73 trips that have visited 38 countries on four continents, not to mention her husband’s 70 visits to 39 countries.

18. Besides being busy with her personal agenda and her husband’s agenda, Letizia always finds the time to be a mother and making sure Leonor and Sofía lead a normal life away from the paparazzi and making sure their education and upbringing is fulfilled excellently.

19. Although there has been a lot of speculation surrounding the marriage of Letizia and Felipe, with rumors of divorce, the couple seem to be stronger than ever, and now on their way to becoming King and Queen of Spain.

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Maria G. Valdez

Maria was born and raised in Dominican Republic, where she began her career in journalism covering human interest stories, entertainment, beauty and wellness for a national magazine. She moved to New York City to study Musical Theatre, but went back to journalism after graduating in an attempt of becoming the Latina Carrie Bradshaw. She has an unhealthy obsession with JLo and claims to be Sofia Vergara’s long-lost daughter, and has tried a crazy amount of treatments to keep looking young. She became a Zumba instructor for fun.