Catholic: The Arab invasions of the Iberian peninsular in the 7th and 8th centuries drove the Christian communities into isolated pockets in the north and northwest. The reconquest (Reconquista) began in the reign of Sancho III, king of Navarre (1000-1035), ultimately triumphing in 1492 with the final defeat of the Moors. The division of Spain into the Kingdoms of Navarre, Castille (later augmented by Leon), and Aragon, and the almost continual disputes between these rival sovereigns, delayed the Reconquista by enabling the Moorish kings of Toledo, Cordoba, and Andalusia to ally themselves alternately with one or other faction. An attempt to unite Aragon and Castille by the marriage of the King of the former with the heiress of the latter in the early 12th century failed on grounds of their consanguinity; Spain was ultimately united under the House of Aragon by the marriage of Ferdinand II, King of Aragon, and Isabel "the Catholic", Queen of Castille, in 1469. Their dau Joanna (Juana) "the Mad" (1479-1555) had m 1494 Archduke Philip (Philip the Fair, b 1478; d 1506, King of Castille jure uxoris) and with Ferdinand II’s death in 1516, he was succ by his grandson, the Archduke Charles of Austria (1500-1558), as Charles I, King of Spain, who also succ his paternal grd-father, Emperor Maximilian as Charles V, King of the Romans in 1519 (Emperor from 1530, see AUSTRIA). He abdicated 1556 as King of Spain to his son Philip II (d 1598), who added the Crown of Portugal to his vast Empire in 1580 (lost 1640). On the death of King Charles II without male heirs 24 Nov 1700, the Spanish throne was disputed between the grd-son of his elder sister, Maria Theresa, Queen of France (wife of Louis XIV, see FRANCE), and the Archduke Charles (1685-1740), yr son of his sister the Empress Margaret. By the settlement made at the Treaty of Utrecht 1713, the Iberian and American possessions were inherited by Philippe of France, while the Netherlands and Italian possessions were acquired by the Habsburgs (see AUSTRIA). For the early history of the Bourbon Family see BOURBON. This Branch was founded by Philippe of France, Duke of Anjou (b 19 Dec 1683; d 9 Jul 1746) who reigned as King Philip (Felipe) V of Spain from 24 Nov 1700; King of Naples and Sicily 1700 - 1713; Salic Law was introduced 1713; King Charles (Carlos) III (b 20 Jan 1716; d 13/14 Dec 1788) established his eldest surviving son, Charles (future Carlos IV) as Prince of the Asturias and Heir to Spain, and his second surviving son Ferdinand as King of the Two Sicilies, with reciprocal rights of all his sons to both thrones in the Pragmatic Decree of 6 Oct 1759. King Carlos IV (b 12 Nov 1748; d 19 Jan 1819) abdicated 6 May 1808; his son Fernando, Prince of the Asturias (b 14 Oct 1784; d 29 Sep 1833) became King Ferdinand VII after 19 March 1808; abdicated 19 March/6 May 1808 and imprisoned with his family, restored in March 1814; Salic Law was abolished and mixed male / female succession established 29 March 1830 (the senior Carlist line never recognized this abolition and continued to claim the Crown until its extinction in the male line in 1936). For junior non-dynastic lines, see BOURBON. Ferdinand VII succ by his daughter Queen Isabel II was forced to leave the country 30 Sep 1868 and abdicated in favour of her son, Alfonso 25 Jun 1870, he was proclaimed King Alfonso XII 20 Dec 1874. King Alfonso XIII left the country 14 Apr 1931 (following elections in which Republican parties achieved a majority in the cities), and a republic was proclaimed. The latter’s grandson, King Juan Carlos 1, was proclaimed King 22 Nov 1975. By the new Constitution, article 57.1 the Crown is "hereditary in the successors of H.M. Don Juan Carlos I of Bourbon, legitimate heir of the historic dynasty" by primogeniture, males having preference over females. He bears the qualification of His Majesty the King of Spain, but has not relinquished the ancient titles of the Spanish Crown (including that of Most Catholic Majesty). By decree of 1987 regulating the titles of the royal family, the children of the Sovereign and of the eldest son or heir of the Sovereign bear the title of Infant or Infanta of Spain with the qualification of Royal Highness. The heir apparent bears the title of Prince of the Asturias, and the ancient titles pertaining to that position. The children of Infants and Infantas of Spain not entitled to another title enjoy the qualification of Excellency ad personam for life. The ducal titles conferred on several Infantas, are lifetime titles ad personam although frequently extended by courtesy to their spouses. Other members of the Royal family bear no title as of right unless conceded to them by the reigning Sovereign or by virtue of descent from some other royal house. The ancient titles of the King are: King of Spain, King of Castille, Leon, Aragon, the Two Sicilies, Jerusalem, Navarre, Grenada, Toledo, Valencia, Galicia, Majorca, Minorca, Sevilla, Sardinia, Cordoba, Corsica, Murcia, Jaen, the Algarves, Algeciras, Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, the East and West Indies, of India and the Oceanic Continent, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, Brabant and Milan, Count of Habsburg, Flanders, Tyrol and Barcelona, Lord of Biscay and Molina, Catholic Majesty.

Orders (principal): Order of the Golden Fleece (1 cl; 50 limit); Order of Charles III (4 cl.); Order of Isabella the Catholic (4 cl); Order of San Hermenegildo (3 cl). Military Order of Saint Ferdinand (5 cl); Order of Merit (4 cl); Order of Naval Merit (4 cl); Order of Military Merit (4 cl); Under Royal Protection: the Orders of Santiago, Calatrava, Alcántara and Montesa.