His birth, which ensured the male succession to the Crown, was a dynastic event whose importance was emphasized in the symbolic names he was given at his christening (Felipe, Juan, Pablo and Alfonso de Todos los Santos), the names of the first Bourbon to reign in Spain; his father's and mother's fathers, (Juan de Borbon, the Count of Barcelona and King Paul of Greece); his great grandfather King Alfonso XIII; and All Saints as it is customary among the Bourbons.
Heir to the throne since the proclamation of his father as King in 1975, in 1977 he received the title of Prince of Asturias, together with those of Prince of Girona and Viana, the titles vested in the heirs to the thrones of the kingdoms of Castile, Aragon and Navarre, whose union in the 16th century created the Spanish monarchy. He is also titled Duke of Montblanch, Count of Cervera and Lord of Balaguer.
From 1987 to 1993 Prince Felipe studied at Madrid's Autonomous University, where he took a degree in law, and also attended courses on economics. Later he was working on a master's degree in international relations at Georgetown University, in Washington, DC. He was a member of the Olympic sailing team in the Barcelona Games in 1992, and took part in the opening ceremony as the Spanish team's standard bearer. He has also had a military education in the three branches of the Spanish Army.
For several years, Prince Felipe had a very public relationship with Eva Sannum, a Norwegian fashion model who reportedly was not deemed acceptable by his parents; she now works for the Norwegian office of the advertising agency Bates Worldwide. He was also reportedly involved with a German baroness, Christina von Wangenheim, and told Hello magazine, "I won't abandon my aim to marry someone I'm in love with."
On November 1, 2003 his engagement to Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, a television journalist, was announced, with the wedding planned for summer of 2004. Rocasolano had previously been married to Alonso Guerrero: they were divorced in 2000.