excerpt- The third child of Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, Felipe is currently – among his many titles – the Prince of Asturias, and, since his father’s health began to decline, has increasingly taken on a more active role in the monarchy.
Since 1996, he has represented Spain at the swearing-in ceremonies for presidents in Latin America – a historically important role given Spain’s relations with its former colonial holdings – and has taken the place of his father on visits across the Arab world, Australia and Europe, including a high-profile meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin back in 2002.
In 2011, Felipe performed more royal duties than King Juan Carlos did – a total of 253 functions in Spain and abroad. His main role abroad has been to promote economic and cultural matters that are of import to the Spanish government.
Felipe has a broad career in foreign service, having earned a master’s degree in international relations from Georgetown University. He graduated from officer training at Spanish military academies as a helicopter pilot, lieutenant-colonel in the army and air force and frigate commander in the navy.
The crown prince also has taken a more active role in Spain’s military activities than his counterpart in the United Kingdom, Prince Charles. He has chaired meetings of the chiefs of the Spanish armed forces - a role normally performed by the king – since 2010 and regularly participates in military exercises.