Princes of Asturias

"Principe de Asturias" redirects here. For the flagship, see Principe de Asturias (R11). For the ocean liner, see Príncipe de Asturias (ocean liner).

Prince of Asturias (Spanish: Príncipe de Asturias, Asturian: Príncipe d'Asturies) is the historical (and under the Spanish Constitution of 1978, the official) title given to the heir to the Spanish throne. It was also the title under the earlier Crown of Castile. The current Prince of Asturias is Felipe, son of King Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Sofía. Contrary to practice in non-Iberian countries, should there be no heir apparent, the title can be (but is not necessarily) given to the heir presumptive – a daughter, sibling or matrilineal descendant of the monarch.

Other associated titles originate from the rest of the kingdoms that formed Spain: Prince of Viana (for Navarre), Prince of Girona (for Aragon), Duke of Montblanc (for Catalonia), Count of Cervera (for Valencia) and Lord of Balaguer (for Majorca).

Military dictator Francisco Franco appointed Juan Carlos de Borbón as his "successor with the title of King" but gave him the new title of Prince of Spain instead of Prince of Asturias.

The current Prince of Asturias has instituted the Prince of Asturias Awards.

Príncipe de Asturias Peak in Vinson Massif, Antarctica is named after the Prince of Asturias.


After the death of King Peter of Castile in 1369, the kingdom was drawn yet deeper in a civil war, disputes and long rivalled between English claimant, John, Duke of Lancaster, and two successive Trastamare claimants, Kings Henry II of Castile and his son John I of Castile. After two decades of conflicts of varying intensity, the parties arrived at compromise through means of marriage: the future Henry III of Castile (1379–1406) was married to Catherine of Lancaster in 1388. A part of the pact ("Accord of Bayonne") was to elevate the young couple to a title, Prince and Princess of Asturias, which was modelled after that of Prince of Wales in English kingdom. The title was to belong to the official successor of the Castilian throne. Thus the first Prince and Princess of Asturias were the young Henry of Castile and Catherine of Lancaster.

In the first years the title was not only honorary, as it included the ownership of the territory of Asturias; the Prince ruled the Principality in representation of the King and was able to appoint judges, mayors, etc. This was changed by the Catholic Monarchs, who limited the scope of the title making it merely honorary; this decision was upheld by the members of the House of Habsburg and the House of Bourbon until the present day.


Image Name Heir to From Until
Year Cause
Henry of Castile
John I
1388 1390 ascended the throne as Henry III
Maria of Castile
Henry III
1402 1405 displaced by the birth of brother
John of Castile
1405 1406 ascended the throne as John II
Catherine of Castile
John II
1423 1424 died
Eleanor of Castile
1424 1425 displaced by the birth of brother
Henry of Castile
1425 1454 ascended the throne as Henry IV
Joanna of Castile
Henry IV
1462 1464 disinherited in favour of half-aunt
Alfonso of Castile
Henry IV
1465 1468 died
Isabella of Castile
1468 1470 disinherited in favour of half-niece
Joanna of Castile
Henry IV
1470 1474 crown assumed by Isabella I
Isabella of Aragon
Isabella I
1476 1480 displaced by the birth of brother
John of Aragon
1480 1497 died
Isabella of Aragon
1498 1498 died
Miguel of Portugal
Isabella I
1499 1500 died
Joanna of Aragon
Isabella I
1502 1504 ascended the throne
Charles of Austria
1504 1516 ascended the throne as Charles I
Philip of Austria
Charles I and Joanna
(father and grandmother)
1528 1556 ascended the throne as Philip II
Carlos of Austria
Philip II
1560 1568 died
Ferdinand of Austria
1573 1578 died
Diego of Austria
1580 1582 died
Philip of Austria
1584 1598 ascended the throne as Philip III
Philip of Austria
Philip III
1608 1621 ascended the throne as Philip IV
Balthasar Charles of Austria
Philip IV 1632 1646 died
Philip Prosper of Austria
1658 1661 died
Charles of Austria
1661 1665 ascended the throne as Charles II
Louis of Spain
Philip V 1709 1724 ascended the throne
Ferdinand of Spain
1724 1746 ascended the throne as Ferdinand VI
Charles of Spain
Charles III
1760 1788 ascended the throne as Charles IV
Ferdinand of Spain
Charles IV 1789 1808 ascended the throne as Ferdinand VII
Isabella of Spain
Ferdinand VII
1830 1833 ascended the throne as Isabella II
Isabella of Spain
Isabella II
1851 1857 displaced by the birth of brother
Alfonso of Spain
1857 1868 mother's deposition
Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy
Amadeus 1871 1873 father's abdication
Isabella of Spain
Alfonso XII
1875 1880 displaced by the birth of niece
Mercedes of Spain
Alfonso XII
Alfonso XIII
1881 1904 died
Alfonso of Spain
Alfonso XIII
1907 1933 renounced his succcession rights
Juan, Count of Barcelona
Alfonso XIII
1933 1977 Recognized as heir apparent to the Spanish throne and held the title Prince of Asturias from 21 June 1933, but preferred to use the title Count of Barcelona; renounced his claim to the throne in favour of his son, Juan Carlos on 14 May 1977
Felipe of Spain
Juan Carlos I 1977 incumbent

See also

External links

  • The title of Prince of Asturias (in Spanish)

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