Definitions

Felipe

Felipe

[fe-lee-pe]
González Márquez, Felipe, 1942-, Spanish political leader. After joining (1962) what was then the Spanish Socialist Workers' party, González became (1974) its secretary-general and revived it from the moribund position into which it had fallen under Franco. In 1979 the party officially abandoned Marxism. González led the Socialists to a landslide victory in the 1982 parliamentary elections and became premier of Spain's first leftist government since the Spanish civil war. The Socialists were returned to power in 1986, 1989, and, as a minority government, 1993. González led social-democratic government that presided over a decade of impressive economic growth in Spain, and in 1986 he led Spain into the European Community (now the European Union). Another notable achievement was domestication of the armed forces after the failed coup attempt of 1981. In the 1990s, however, González's government was beset by various scandals and an increasing loss of public confidence. After a narrow victory in the 1993 elections he and his party lost the election of 1996 to the Popular party, and its head, José María Aznar, became prime minister. He resigned as Socialist party leader in 1997, and retired from the Cortes in 2004. In 1997 several members of his government in the 1980s, including the former interior minister, were convicted of engaging in a "dirty war" against Basque terrorists; González has denied any knowledge of their actions. In 2007 he was chosen to head an official panel to examine the future of the European Union.

Felipe, Prince of Asturias (baptized as Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos de Borbón y de Grecia; born January 30 1968, Madrid, Spain), is the third child and first son of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía of Spain. As the Prince of Asturias he is the heir apparent, meaning he is first in the line of succession to the Spanish throne. As heir to the Spanish throne he bears the official titles of Prince of Asturias, Prince of Viana, Prince of Girona, Duke of Montblanc, Count of Cervera and Lord of Balaguer.

Birth

Felipe was born in Madrid. His birth, after that of his two sisters, the infantas Elena and Cristina, ensured a male successor to the Spanish Throne. All three were delivered by doctor don Manuel Maria de Mendizabal. [El Mundo 11 Feb 1996 El Ginecologo de la Reina] His full name is Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de la Santísima Trinidad y de Todos los Santos de Borbón y de Grecia. The symbolic names given at his christening, by the Archbishop of Madrid Casimiro Morcillo Gonzalez included the names of the first Bourbon to reign in Spain; his grandfathers (Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona and Paul of Greece); his great-grandfather King Alfonso XIII of Spain; and All Saints (Todos los Santos) as is customary among the Bourbons. At the time of his birth he was titled as Infante of Spain, as his father was not yet King and Felipe was not yet heir apparent. His godparents were his grandfather Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona and his great-grandmother Queen Victoria Eugenia.

Activities in Spain and abroad

Felipe started school at Santa Maria de los Rosales, a modern day school where he could fit in without special treatment. Felipe 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 completed his academic studies by obtaining a Master of Science degree in Foreign Service from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he was the roommate of his cousin, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece. Felipe has fulfilled his institutional commitments in his capacity as Heir to the Crown, chaired many official events in Spain, and participated in key events in different sectors and aspects of Spanish public life. Since October 1995, Felipe has made a series of official visits to the Spanish Autonomous Communities with a view to gaining in-depth knowledge of Spain and making contact with other Spaniards. Felipe holds regular meetings with constitutional bodies and the main state institutions in order to keep in touch with their activities. He also attends meetings of the various bodies of the Central Administration and of the Autonomous Communities as required by his national and international institutional activities. Felipe grants public and private audiences to a large number of people with a view to receiving up-to-date information on national and international affairs. In particular, he holds meetings with people close to his own generation with outstanding careers in political, economic, cultural and media circles. When King Juan Carlos is unable to attend, Felipe presides over the annual presentation of dispatches to Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of the Armed Forces and participates in military exercises held by the three services. He has made many official visits to European countries and to Latin America, as well as to countries in the Arab world, the Far East, and Australia. He shows special interest in all matters related to the European Union, the Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America. Since January 1996, Felipe has represented the Spanish State at the swearing-in ceremonies for several Latin American Presidents. Felipe has also played a very active role in the promotion of Spain's economic and commercial interests and of Spanish language and culture in foreign countries. He frequently presides at economic and trade fairs held by Spain abroad (Expotecnia, Expoconsumo, and Expohabitat), and is especially interested in promoting the creation of Centres and University Chairs to disseminate the history and current situation of Spain in major foreign universities. Felipe is godfather to at least two children: Luis Felipe Gómez-Acebo y Ponte, the son of his cousin, Beltrán (son of Infanta Pilar); and Princess Sofia of Bulgaria, daughter of Prince Konstantin of Bulgaria. In turn, Konstantin is godfather to Felipe's daughter, Sofía.

Participation in the Olympics

Standing 197 cm (6' 5 1/2") in height, Felipe was a member of the Olympic sailing team at the Barcelona Games in 1992, which recalled his mother's and uncle's position on the Greek sailing team in 1960. He also took part in the opening ceremony as the Spanish team's standard bearer. He finished in sixth position in the sailing class and obtained an Olympic Diploma.

Marriage and children

The bachelorhood of Felipe was an issue in the Spanish press for several years. His name was linked with several eligible women, but only two with any conviction: Spanish noblewoman Isabel Sartorius, who was not viewed favorably by the Royal Family due to her being three years older than him and having divorced parents; and Norwegian model Eva Sannum, who had modeled underwear, something not favored by neither the Spanish people nor the Royal Family. When Felipe finally began a serious relationship, nothing was suspected before the official announcement. On November 1 2003 the Prince's engagement to Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, an award-winning television journalist formerly with CNN, was proclaimed. Despite having a divorce to her credit, the public generally approved of Letizia since she represented the modern woman--independent, cultured, and accomplished in her profession. The couple married on the morning of May 22 2004 in the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, with members of several European royal families attending. Ortiz had previously been married to Alonso Guerrero, a teacher and author; they were divorced in 2002. The wedding was watched by more than 25 million television viewers in Spain alone, and was broadcast throughout the world. Letizia Ortiz then gained the title HRH The Princess of Asturias, but is often referred to as Princess Letizia. On May 8 2005, the Spanish Royal House announced that the couple were expecting their first child in November.

Public protest

After the March 11, 2004, Madrid bombings, Felipe, along with his sisters Elena and Cristina, became the first members of the Spanish royal family ever to take part in a public protest.

Social work

In addition to his official activities, Felipe is Honorary President of several associations and foundations, such as the Codespa Foundation, which finances specific economic and social development activities in Ibero-America and other countries, and the Spanish branch of the Association of European Journalists, which is composed of outstanding communications professionals. Most noteworthy is the Príncipe de Asturias Foundation, where he presides annually the Awards ceremony of these highly prestigious Awards, at the international level, that carry his name.

Within the framework of these institutions which work towards aims of general interest, Felipe focuses his interest on activities in the fields of development projects, voluntary work, the environment, universities, the integration of young people in the workplace and business, relations between business circles and society and social communication.

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

Titles and arms

Felipe has been heir to the throne since the proclamation of his father as king in 1975. In 1977, Felipe became Prince of Asturias, the title normally held by the heir to the Spanish throne.

On April 21 1990, Felipe became the first Bourbon to hold the Aragonese title of Prince of Girona. Formerly no other Bourbon had ever held nor even used this title. He is also titled Prince of Viana, Duke of Montblanc, Count of Cervera and Lord of Balaguer.

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.

By Royal Decree 284/2001 of 16 March, HRH the Prince of Asturias’s Guidon and Standard were created. The decree describes his coat of arms, his Guidon and his standard.

He has been created Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI.

If Felipe becomes king as expected, he will be known as Philip VI of Spain.

Titles and honours

  • His Royal Highness The Infante Felipe of Spain (1968-1977)
  • His Royal Highness The Prince of Asturias (1977-present)

See also

References

External links

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