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10 things you need to know about Prince Felipe, Spain's next King

Published on Jun 2, 2014 9:06 PM

The process of succession is underway in Spain after King Juan Carlos, 76, announced his decision to abdicate in favour of his son, Prince Felipe, 46.  Here are 10 things to know about Prince Felipe:

1. Born in Madrid on Jan 30, 1968, Felipe is the youngest child and only son of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, who also have two daughters, Princess Elena and Princess Cristina.

2. He will eventually be the oldest king to ascend the Spanish throne. For now, that record belongs to his great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather Carlos III (1716-1788) who was 43 at the time of his ascension.

3. He currently holds the official titles of Prince of Asturias, Prince of Gerona, Prince of Viana, Duke of Montblanc, Count of Cervera and Lord of Balaguer.

4. He married Ms Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, a divorcee and television news presenter, on May 22, 2004. His wife, now Princess Letizia of Asturias, is the first commoner in Spanish history to be in line to be queen.

5. The couple have two daughters - Princess Leonor, who turns nine in October, and Princess Sofía, seven.

6. He is godfather to Prince Vincent of Denmark, third child of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary. He is also godfather to Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, eldest daughter of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit.

7. He has a law degree from the Madrid Autonomous University. He graduated in 1993 and went on to spend two years at Georgetown University in Washington doing a Masters in International Relations. He speaks fluent French and English.

8. He underwent officer training at Spanish military academies from 1985 to 89. He graduated as a helicopter pilot, lieutenant-colonel in the army and air force, and frigate commander in the navy.

9. He competed in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games as a member of the Spanish sailing team and was the country’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony. He finished sixth in his class and obtained an Olympic Diploma.

10. Before his marriage, he dated a former Norwegian lingerie model but the relationship was widely criticised.