The king is not dead long live the king!
That was one of the headlines in the Spanish newspapers when Felipe VI was proclaimed as the kingdom’s new monarch after his father Juan Carlos I’s abdication from the throne.
The Spaniards are divided on the question of the monarchy to be or not to be, and in that Juan Carlos announced that he would abdicate the debate on a referendum flared up again. Thousands of people demonstrated in several large cities for a republic. At the same time, studies show that just barely 0.2% of Spaniards see the monarchy as a problem, but puts the economy and unemployment in the top of the list. In fact, most Spaniards are positive to the change in the royal house and the new ruler after all.
Felipe, Prince of Asturias and Viana, became King Felipe VI and although he may be number six, he is the first person in several ways. He is the first Spanish king born in a democracy. He is the first Spanish king who has a university education. He is also the first of the royal family to be a presenter on television! In addition, Felipe VI also Europe’s youngest monarch with his 46 years.
Felipe VI has a degree in law from the University of Madrid and in international relations from Washington, USA. He is interested in chemistry, engineering, physics, nature and economy among other things. According to sources, he is simply “curious about everything”. He works closely and has a pensive manner.
When he was last week crowned the new king of Spain, he declared his intentions as the country’s ruler. Three issues dominated the century; Overcoming pessimism and rebuild hope and confidence in the country; Recognition of errors and abuses committed throughout history and to work to preserve “What unites us,” meaning the whole of the Spanish people and the Spanish unit. “Society requires a deep reflection never to repeat past mistakes of the past, a strong desire to build solidarity future based on its thoroughness, ethical principles, honesty and effort,” he said, among other things.
His interest in nature and the environment, he showed clearly through their participation in the television program La España Salvaje (Wild Spain) which aired in 1996. When he was asked, he replied yes without hesitation, as he wanted to bring the Spaniards’ awareness of, and respect for, the environment at large and especially the Iberian fauna.
Felipe handed out environmental awards to companies when the International Environment Day was celebrated on June 5 this year.
Don Felipe (His Highness Felipe) is married to journalist (Donya) Letizia Ortiz and they have two daughters; Leonor, Princess of Asturias which thus becomes the youngest heir to the throne, and her younger sister, Sophia. Letizia Ortiz is “a girl of the people” and therefore very popular when she has extensive training and has had her own career before marrying a royal. She also called for “hipster-queen” since she is very interested in culture in general and pop and rock music in particular. Some of Letizia’s musical favorites, as she would like to see live concerts with, Shakira, Rhianna, Bon Jovi and The Killers!
Spain’s King and Queen over the years have made a lot of trips in official contexts worldwide and their first state visit as rulers go to the Vatican and an audience with the Pope at the end of this month.