Crown Prince Felipe is about to become the next king of Spain after his father, King Juan Carlos, announced he will abdicate the throne to make way for his son.
Here’s what you need to know about Felipe:
1. He’s the Only Son of King Juan Carlos
Felipe, 46, is the heir to the throne because he’s King Juan Carlos’ only son. He formally became the heir to the throne in a ceremony in 1986, when he was 18. As his father has gotten older, Felipe has represented the monarchy at more and more official events, including swearing-in ceremonies of the leaders of Latin American countries that were former Spanish colonies.
2. He’s Married to Former Journalist Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano
In 2003, Felipe married Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, a former journalist and TV anchor. The video above shows the couple reciting their vows in La Almudena cathedral in Madrid. The couple has two daughters: Leonor (8) and Sofia (7). Watch the video below to see the prince and princess with their children.
3. He’s a Former Olympic Sailor
Felipe, an avid sportsman and talented sailor, was on Spain’s 1992 Olympic yacht team when the Games were in Barelona. Spain’s sailing team ranked first in the 1992 games, bringing home five medals: four gold and one silver.
4. Observers Call Felipe Reserved but Capable
According to The Telegraph, Felipe has been endorsed by former president Bill Clinton who said he, “is able, patriotic, and has been well prepared by his parents.”
But journalists in Barcelona say the prince comes across as colder in demeanor, a contrast from his father’s warmer disposition.
Still, Felipe’s 66.4 percent public approval ratings show he has been in tune with the wants and needs of the Spanish public. After terrorists blew up a series of commuter trains during rush hour in Madrid in 2004, Felipe and his family took part in a public protest.
5. His Formal Name Will Be Philip VI
When Felipe ascends to the throne, he’ll bear the name Philip VI. He’ll be the first King Philip since Philip V, who held the throne from 1724 to 1746.
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