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The current Spanish constitution refers to the monarchy as "the crown of Spain" and the constitutional title of the monarch is simply rey/reina de España: that is, "king/queen of Spain". However, the constitution allows for the use of other historic titles pertaining to the Spanish monarchy, without specifying them. A decree promulgated 6 November 1987 at the Council of Ministers regulates the titles further, and on that basis the monarch of Spain has a right to use ("may use") those other titles appertaining to the Crown. Contrary to some belief, the long titulary that contains the list of over 20 kingdoms, etc., is not in state use, nor is it used in Spanish diplomacy. In fact, it has never been in use in that form, as "Spain" was never a part of the list in pre-1837 era when the long list was officially used.

Spain, mentioned differently in the titulary depending on which monarch was reigning, was for more than three centuries also symbolized by the long list that started "...of Castile, Leon, Aragon,..." - The following long titulary in the feudal style was the last used officially in 1836 by Isabella II of Spain (see the account of titulary in her article) before she became constitutional queen.

The first king to officially use a derivation of the name "Spain" as the realm in the titulary was Charles I of Spain, who used "Rex Hispaniarum et Indiarum"(i.e., King of the Spaniards and the Indians). It should be noted that this title was often used after his title of "Holy Roman Emperor," as "Emperor" was considered a superior title to "King." During his brief and controversial occupancy of the throne Joseph Napoleon Bonaparte, brother of Emperor Napoleon, also used a similar title, King of the Spains and the Indies.

During the first restoration of the historic dynasty, it returned to the traditional format (...of Castile, Leon, Aragon,...) until 1837, when the short version "queen of the Spains" was taken into use by Isabella II. The singular Spain was first used by Amadeo — he was "by divine grace and will of nation, king of Spain." During the second restoration, King Alfonso XII started to use "constitutional king of Spain, by divine and constitutional grace".

With the current (and third) restoration of the royal house of Spain, the present monarch, Juan Carlos, uses the simple title "king of Spain", without any divine, national or constitutional reference.

The present king has chosen not to use the title of Catholic Majesty and the other titles. He has not, however, relinquished these titles and honours.

Titles held by the King of Spain

Spanish monarchical Titles or Style are listed in order of degrees of sovereignty, nobility, and honor:

Notes: titles marked with * are historical titles which are only nominal and ceremonial.



Coat of arms of the kingdom of Jerusalem.



Coat of Arms of the Duchy of Neopatras


Military Rank

Hereditary Orders

Non-Hereditary Orders held by King Juan Carlos I

The Grand Cross of the Order of the king Charles III.

Titles held by the heir apparent to the Spanish Throne

Titles and styles are listed in order of degrees of rank, nobility, and honor:


Duchies, Counties and Lordships



Foreign Orders

Byzantine Empire

The last titular Byzantine Emperor, Andreas Palaiologos, sold his imperial title to Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile before his death in 1502. However, the sale of such a title in pretense was of uncertain validity and no kings of Spain are known to have used the Byzantine Imperial titles.

See also


  1. Article 57 of the Spanish Constitution
  2. Almanach de Gotha 1999, Page 336, Decree of 1987
  3. List of titles and honours of the Spanish Crown.
  4. The Royal Household of His Majesty the King (Spanish only)
  5. Norwich, John Julius, Byzantium — The Decline and Fall, p. 446.

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