Spanish Monarchy: Overview
The Spanish Monarchy of His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain is somewhat recent in terms of being part of the life of Spain – for many years, the Monarchy in Spain was ‘dormant’ as General Francisco Franco was Dictator.
In 1975 – President Franco died, and King Juan Carlos I ascended to the throne, the new King ruled Spain as an Absolute Monarch until a new constitution was introduced in 1978 that reestablished a Constitutional Monarchy.
The King of Spain is the Head of State of the Kingdom of Spain, and is Commander-in-Chief of the Spanish Armed Forces.
Although the King has very little say in the Foreign Policy of the Government of Spain, he does act to represent the Spanish people abroad, and often carries out State Visits, he also acts as President of the Ibero-American Organisation, and is considered instrumental in making the diplomatic relationship between Spain and its former American colonies in South and Central America work.
The Spanish Monarchy can trace its roots back several centuries to the times of the Visigothic Kingdom.
Over the past few hundred years, the Spanish Monarchy has built several palaces around Spain, some of these are currently at the disposal of the Spanish Royal Family for us as residences and work places. Currently, the Royal Family use the Royal Palace of Madrid as the official residence, though it is used as the working palace.
The King and Queen prefer the smaller Zarzuela Palace as their official residence.
Some royal palaces for instance have been turned into museums, and are open to the public, these include the Palace at La Granja de San Ildefonso while the Escorial is used as a monastery, museum and Royal Armories.
The Spanish Monarchy is governed by the male-primogeniture that gives male precedence in the line of succession. The current top ten in line of succession to the Spanish throne includes:
- H.R.H. The Prince of Asturias
- H.R.H. The Infanta Leonor
- H.R.H. The Infanta Sofia
- H.R.H. The Duchess of Lugo
- H.E. Felipe Juan Froilán de Marichalar y de Borbón
- H.E. Victoria Federica de Marichalar y de Borbón
- H.R.H. The Duchess of Palma de Mallorca
- H.E. Juan Urdangarín y de Borbón eldest son of Infanta Cristina
- H.E. Pablo Urdangarín y de Borbón.
- H.E. Miguel Urdangarín y de Borbón