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Meet the Spanish royal family tree – all you need to know about the House of Bourbon

King Felipe's father, Juan Carlos, was the first ruler following the restoration of the monarchy

Princess Leonor, Queen Letizia, Infanta Sofia and King Felipe at a military academy
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
April 18, 2024
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Although the Spanish royal family can trace its roots back to the 15th century, the current institution has a much more recent history.

The monarchy was dissolved in 1931 after the seeming rejection from the public in the country's municipal elections. In 1947, Spanish dictator Francisco Franco declared himself the head of state of the Kingdom of Spain, choosing Juan Carlos to be his successor. During his reign, Juan Carlos ended the military dictatorship and his current royal house, the House of Bourbon rules Spain.

There are several claimants to the Spanish throne who come from different houses, however, in this family tree, we will only be focusing on the House of Bourbon and Juan Carlos' immediate family. Meet them below…

Family tree of the Spanish royal family

The Spanish royal family tree
The Spanish royal family tree

King Juan Carlos

King Juan Carlos waving© OSCAR DEL POZO
Juan Carlos' financial dealings have attracted controversey

Born on 5 January 1938, Juan Carlos spent parts of his early life in exile in Italy after his family left Spain following the dissolution of the monarchy. The young royal's life had some family tragedy following the accidental shooting death of his younger brother, Infante Alfonso, on 29 March 1956.

Juan Carlos returned to Spain in 1948 to continue his studies, one year after dictator Francisco Franco declared himself as the new head of the Kingdom of Spain. Following the death of the royal's grandfather, Alfonso XIII in 1941, it was believed that when Franco chose a successor it would be Juan Carlos' father, Juan, Count of Barcelona. However, Franco believed Juan to be too liberal and so appointed Juan Carlos as his successor, with the Spanish royal becoming heir-apparent in 1969.

Outwardly, Juan Carlos supported the dictator, however, behind-the-scenes he was communicating with political leaders and his father about restoring democracy to their homeland. Juan Carlos became head of state on 30 October 1975 due to Franco's failing health. Two days after the dictator's death on 20 November 1975, Juan Carlos was proclaimed King of Spain.

Unlike many monarchs, during his early reign, Juan Carlos was heavily involved in politics overseeing the transition towards democracy. A national broadcast from the King in 1981 is believed to have been instrumental in foiling a coup attempt. After 1982, Juan Carlos started acting more in capacity as a constitutional monarch, similar to King Charles.

On 14 May 1962, Juan Carlos married Princess Sofia of Greece and the pair welcomed three children, Infanta Elena, Infanta Cristina and Prince Felipe.

Although the royal enjoyed high popularity, he attracted controversy after it emerged in 2012 that he had undergone a private hunting trip in Botswana alongside his former mistress, Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, although she was unaware of the trip's nature. It was estimated that the trip cost €44,000, twice the average wage of a worker in the country at the time, and the trip came during a national unemployment crisis. Further controversy arose when his daughter, Cristina, and her husband became embroiled in an embezzlement scandal and on 2 June 2014, he signalled his intention to abdicate.

Juan Carlos' abdication was supported by the Spanish parliament and he was succeeded by his son, and youngest child Felipe, on 19 June 2014; the former monarch subsequently retired from public life five years later on 2 June 2019.

However, controversy has still followed the royal and he was implicated in a corruption scandal over Saudi-linked businesses leading to his son renouncing any inheritance from his father and Juan Carlos exiling himself from Spain on 3 August 2020.

Queen Sofia

Queen Sofia in a sparkly suit© Pablo Cuadra
Sofia is also a member of the Greek royal family

Born on 2 November 1938, Queen Sofia was always a royal as she was born into the Greek royal family as the daughter of King Paul and Queen Frederica. Sofia first met her husband, Juan Carlos, in 1954 as he enjoyed a cruise in the Greek Islands before meeting again in 1961 at the wedding of the Duke of Kent.

A year later, Sofia and Juan Carlos married and they welcomed daughters Elena and Cristina and son Felipe. Sofia renounced her claims to the Greek throne in order to wed her husband. The duo have a shared love of sailing and both have featured on their respective countries' rosters for the event at the Olympic Games.

Infanta Pilar

Queen Sofia (left)  walking with Infanta Pilar and King Felipe© Dusko Despotovic
Pilar died in 2020

Born on 30 July 1936, Pilar was the older sister of Juan Carlos. Whereas her younger brother was born in Italy, Pilar was born in Cannes while the family lived in exile.

Although her family wished for Pilar to marry King Baudoin of Belgium, Pilar instead fell in love with businessman Luis Gómez-Acebo and renounced her place in the line of succession as Luiz was deemed a commoner. The couple welcomed five children: Maria, Juan, Bruno, Luis and Fernando and remained married until Luis' death from lymphatic cancer in 1991.

On 2 February 2019, the royal was hospitalised and operated on for an intestinal obstruction and was subsequently diagnosed with colon cancer. She was readmitted to hospital on 5 January 2020 with her condition worsening and she died three days later on 8 January 2020 at the age of 83.

Infanta Margarita

Born on 6 March 1939, Margarita is the younger sister of Juan Carlos and like her older sibling was born in Italy. Like her older sister, she renounced her succession rights in order to marry physician Carlos Zurita and the pair have welcomed two children: Alfonso and Maria.

On 27 May 1981, she became known as the Duchess of Hernani following the death of her cousin, Manfredo. Manfredo requested that Margarita inherit the Dukedom following his death.

Infante Alfonso

Infante Alfonso (left) and Juan Carlos as children in sailor suits© Keystone
Alfonso (left) tragically died at the age of 14

Born on 3 October 1941, Alfonso is the youngest sibling of Juan Carlos and was born in Italy before moving to Switzerland.

While on an Easter break in Portugal with his family, Alfonso was tragically killed in an accident on 29 March 1956 after being shot with a loaded revolver. A statement at the time read: "Whilst His Highness the Infante Alfonso was cleaning a revolver last evening with his brother, a shot was fired hitting his forehead and killing him in a few minutes. The accident took place at 20.30 hours, after the Infante's return from the Maundy Thursday religious service, during which he had received Holy Communion."

King Felipe VI

King Felipe VI in a suit© Samuel de Roman
Felipe is the current King of Spain

Born on 30 January 1968, Felipe is the current King of Spain, ascending to the throne following his father's abdication on 19 June 2014. Felipe was named as the heir-apparent in 1977 when he was just nine, and he was officially recognised in this role by the Spanish Parliament after he swore allegiance to his father following his 18th birthday.

Rumours about Felipe's love life had circulated for many years before it was announced in 2003 that he was engaged to TV presenter Letizia Ortiz, with the pair marrying on 22 May 2004. The couple have welcomed two children, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia.

Felipe's reign has seen the royal family undergo more transparency with a decree to reject overly expensive gifts and the stripping of his sister Cristina's titles after she and her husband were embroiled in embezzlement allegations. On 22 April 2022, Felipe made public all of his assets, totalling $2.8 million.

Queen Letizia

Queen Letizia in a black suit© Pablo Cuadra
Letizia was a journalist before marrying Felipe

Born as Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano on 15 September 1972, she is the current Queen of Spain. Letizia has lived an unconventional life for a royal, originally training as a journalist and working for major publications like ABC and major television networks like EFE and CNN+, and she has previously reported on the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

On 8 August 1998, Letizia married teacher Alonso Perez after dating for ten years, however their union lasted only a year with the pair splitting in 1999. In 2002, she met Felipe, marrying him on 22 May 2004 and welcoming two daughters, Leonor and Sofia.

Letizia is known for her stylish outfits and has rocked a number of outfits from recycled dresses to swanky leather trousers and she looked radiant at King Charles' coronation in a beautiful pink dress.

Infanta Elena

Born on 20 December 1963, Elena is the oldest sister of Felipe VI and is currently third in line to the throne. Despite being the oldest daughter of former Juan Carlos, the Spanish system favours male heirs to the throne.

Like many members of her family, Elena has a keen interest in sport and much like Princess Anne and Zara Tindall of the United Kingdom, Elena is an accomplished equestrian.

In 1987, she met Jaime de Marichalar, the son of the Count of Ripalda while she was studying in Paris. The pair courted in secret, but their relationship was leaked after photos of the pair were obtained in 1993 and Jaime proposed on 26 November 1994 with the couple marrying on 18 March 1995.

Elena and Jaime welcomed two children, son Felipe and daughter Victoria, but on 26 June 2003, the royal suffered a miscarriage while carrying her second daughter. On 13 September 2007, she separated from Jaime with the pair officially divorcing in December 2009.

Following her brother's accession to the throne, Elena is no longer considered to be in the royal house and rarely undertakes duties for the Crown. She currently worked as the director of social and cultural projects for the Mapfre Foundation.

Jaime de Marichalar

Jaime de Marichalar in a suit and sunglasses© Bertrand Rindoff Petroff
Jaime suffered a stroke in 2001

Born on 7 April 1963, Jaime was born to the Count of Ripalda. After an education that focused on economics, business marketing and management, he began working in Paris where he met his future wife, Elena.

The couple married on 18 March 1995 and welcomed two children before divorcing in 2009. Due to the divorce, Jaime is no longer considered a part of the Spanish royal family and is not allowed to use titles associated with his ex-wife. Jaime retired from public life in 2001 after he suffered a stroke.

Infanta Cristina

Infanta Cristina leaving court© Europa Press Entertainment
Cristina previously faced criminal charges

Born on 13 June 1965, Cristina is the middle child of Juan Carlos and Sofia and is sixth in line to the throne. Like many other members of her family, Cristina has competed in the Sailing event at the Olympic Games.

The royal is believed to have met handball player Iñaki Urdangarin at the 1996 Olympic Games and the pair wed on 4 October 1997 and have since welcomed four children: Juan, Pablo, Miguel and Irene. On 24 January 2022, the couple announced their separation after pictures emerged of Iñaki with another woman, and they divorced in December 2023.

Before that, in 2012, her husband was investigated for embezzlement and Cristina was named as a suspect a year later before being formally charged on 25 June 2014. She was stripped of her royal titles a year later by her brother, Felipe VI and her trial began on 11 January 2016.  During the trial she denied knowledge of her husband's dealings and she was subsequently acquitted of all charges in 2017.

Iñaki Urdangarin

Inaka Urdangarin walking with a bag© Europa Press Entertainment
Inaki was jailed in 2017 for several years

Born on 15 January 1968, Iñaki is a former Olympic handball player and was part of the bronze medal winning team in 1996 and 2000. After reportedly meeting Infanta Cristina at the 1996 Olympics, the pair wed a year later before welcoming four children.

After retiring from handball, Iñaki started working at a sports marketing firm. However, due to his non-profit organisation, the Noos Institute, he was accused of embezzlement and corruption, reportedly fraudulently gained £5 million. Iñaki pleaded not guilty to the charges, but he was found guilty on 17 February 2017 and sentenced to six years and three months in prison alongside a substantial fine. He was placed on supervised release in 2021 before separating from Cristina in 2022, officially divorcing her in 2023. Iñaki is currently in a relationship with Ainhoa Armentia who he met at the end of 2021 and prompted his separation from Cristina.

Princess Leonor

Princess Leonor in a blue outfit on a blue chair© Carlos Alvarez
Leonor is the heir to the Spanish throne

Born on 31 October 2005, Leonor is the Princess of Asturias and the heir-apparent to the Spanish throne as the oldest daughter of King Felipe and Queen Letizia. She was officially declared as heir to the throne on her 18th birthday, and if she ascends to the throne, she will be Spain's first Queen Regent since her great-grandmother Isabella II who ruled in the 1800s.

The young royal is currently studying at the General Military Academy as part of a three-year course.

Infanta Sofia

Infanta Sofia in a white dress© Carlos Alvarez
Sofia is the youngest daughter of Felipe and Letizia

Born on 29 April 2007, Sofia is the youngest daughter of Felipe and Letizia, and is second in line to the throne. Sofia is currently studying at the UWC Atlantic College in Wales.

Felipe de Marichalar

Felipe de Marichalar watching a bull fight© Europa Press Entertainment
Felipe is the oldest son of Elena and Jaime

Born on 17 July 1998, Felipe is the oldest child of Infanta Elena and Jaime de Marichalar and is fourth in line to the throne. Due to bad grades in school, Felipe studied for several years in England before completing his education in the United States.

The young royal has been involved in a few incidents during his life, accidentally shooting himself in the foot in 2012 before being investigated by the police in 2022 after he was involved in a brawl outside of a bar in Madrid. In 2023, it was announced that Felipe would begin living with his grandfather, Juan Carlos, in the United Arab Emirates.

Victoria de Marichalar

Victoria de Marichalar in a white outfit with black markings© Aldara Zarraoa
Victoria has entered into the fashion industry

Born on 9 September 2000, Victoria is the youngest child of Elena and Jaime and is fifth in line to the throne. Victoria studied business administration and management in Madrid and currently works in the fashion industry.

Juan Urdangarin

Juan Urdangarin walking in a blue suit© Europa Press Entertainment
Juan is Cristina and Inaka's oldest child

Born on 29 September 1999, Juan is the oldest child of Infanta Cristina and Iñaki Urdangarin and is seventh in line to the throne. Juan lives a very private life. In 2023 it was reported that the young royal was volunteering in Cambodia, but currently he is living in London.

Pablo Urdangarin

Pablo Urdangarin applauding© Soccrates Images
Pablo is a professional handball player

Born on 6 December 2000, Pablo is the second child of Cristina and Iñaki. Pablo has followed in his father's footsteps by becoming a handball player and he currently plays for Barcelona as a right back.

Miguel Urdangarin

Miguel Urgangarin walking in a hoodie and jeans© Europa Press Entertainment
Miguel is the son of Cristina and Inaki

Born on 30 April 2002, Miguel is the third child of Cristina and Iñaki. Miguel keeps a private life, but graduated from the University of Southampton with a degree in marine biology in 2023.

Irene Urdangarin

Irene Urdangarin on a sidewalk© Carlos Alvarez
Irene is the youngest child of Cristina and Inaki

Born on 5 June 2005, Irene is the youngest child of Cristina and Iñaki. Like her older brother, Juan, Irene is currently volunteering in Cambodia.

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Line of succession

  1. Princess Leonor
  2. Infanta Sofia
  3. Infanta Elena
  4. Felipe de Marichalar
  5. Victoria de Marichalar
  6. Infanta Cristina
  7. Juan Urdangarin
  8. Pablo Urdangarin
  9. Miguel Urdangarin
  10. Irene Urdangarin

More Royalty

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