Spain’s two kings: how to address a former monarch

A commentary on the forms of address for former monarchs.

A week and a half ago, the Crown Prince of Spain formally acceded to the throne following the abdication of his father, thus becoming King Felipe VI. Although no longer “The King of Spain”, King Juan Carlos, never stops being a king, of course. What he has done is resign from his job; he is no longer the reigning monarch.

From left: Queen Letizia, King Felipe VI, Queen Sofia and King Juan Carlos. Photo from The Telegraph

From left: Queen Letizia, King Felipe VI, Queen Sofía and King Juan Carlos. Photo from The Telegraph

In the last year, three monarchs and a pope have abdicated in favour of the next generation. The Dutch and The Belgians have new Kings, and Qatar has a new Emir.

Former monarchs are often afforded the same title and style they had during their reign. Thus, King Juan Carlos is referred to as His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, and his wife remains Her Majesty Queen Sofía of Spain.

For many reasons, including political, Britain’s Edward VIII was made a royal duke, HRH The Duke of Windsor when he abdicated in 1936. Do keep an eye out for my future post on the forms of address of the British royal family.

At your service,
EtiKate

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