Monarchy of Spain

The Monarchy of Spain (Spanish: Monarquía Española), constitutionally referred to as The Crown (Spanish: La Corona), is a constitutional institution and the highest office of Spain.[1] The monarchy comprises the reigning monarch, his or her family, and the royal household organization which supports and facilitates the monarch in the exercise of his duties and prerogatives.[2][3] The Spanish monarchy is currently represented by King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia, and their daughters Leonor, Princess of Asturias, and Infanta Sofía.

King of Spain
Spanish: Rey de España
Incumbent
Felipe VI
since 19 June 2014
Details
StyleHis Majesty
Heir presumptiveLeonor, Princess of Asturias
First monarchIsabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon (Catholic Monarchs of Spain)
ResidenceRoyal Palace of Madrid (official)
Palace of Zarzuela (private)
AppointerHereditary
WebsiteThe Spanish Monarchy

The Spanish Constitution of 1978 re-established[1][4] a constitutional monarchy as the form of government for Spain after the end of the Francoist regime and the restoration of democracy by Adolfo Suárez in 1975. The 1978 constitution affirmed the role of the King of Spain as the living personification and embodiment of the Spanish State and a symbol of Spain's enduring unity and permanence and is also invested as the "arbitrator and the moderator" of Spanish state institutions.[2][5] Constitutionally, the king is the head of state and commander-in-chief of the Spanish Armed Forces.[2][5] The constitution codifies the use of royal styles and titulary, Royal Prerogatives, hereditary succession to the crown, compensation, and a regency-guardianship contingency in cases of the monarch's minority or incapacitation.[2][5] According to the constitution, the monarch is also instrumental in promoting relations with the "nations of its historical community".[2][5] The King of Spain serves as the president of the Organization of Ibero-American States, purportedly representing over 700,000,000 people in twenty-four member nations worldwide.[6][7]

The Spanish monarchy has its roots in the Visigothic Kingdom of Toledo founded after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Then the Kingdom of Asturias fought the Reconquista following the Umayyad invasion of Hispania in the 8th century. A dynastic marriage between Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon (the "Catholic Monarchs") united Spain in the 15th century. The last pretender of the crown of the Roman Byzantine Empire, Andreas Palaiologos, in his last testament[8] dated 7 April 1502, bestowed his imperial title to Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile.[9]

The Spanish Empire became one of the first global powers as Isabella and Ferdinand funded Christopher Columbus's exploratory voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. The sea route he established between paved the way for the Spanish conquest of much of the Americas.

As of 2021, the official budget for the Spanish monarchy is 8.4 million euros, one of the lowest public expenditures for the institution of monarchy in Europe.[10] However, other expenses of the Royal House are assumed by different government departments.