The kinship between Felipe VI and Isabel II, whom he affectionately called “Aunt Lilibeth”

European monarchies are often linked to each otherunited by family ties from the past and by close royal links that sought to maintain the lineage and the nobility of those who have blue blood. And although we must go back a while to find those affinities, it is not difficult to find the connection. This is what happens between the Bourbon family and the Windsors.

Relations between the Spanish and British royal families have always been very close, whether due to convenience, personal affinity or the fact of sharing a certain kinship, and that is, for lack of a better term, the emeritus king, Juan Carlos I, would be the great-great cousin of Queen Elizabeth II of England.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh together with King Juan Carlos I and King Sofia at Palma de Mallorca airport. EFE

The friendship between the two families is well known, and this has been demonstrated by the royal houses over the years, for example, with the First official visit of the King and Queen of Spain -Felipe and Letizia- to the United Kingdom in 2017 or with the death of Prince Philip of Edinburgh, where Felipe VI issued deep condolences and mentioned the times they had met: “Dear Aunt Lilibeth: We feel deep sadness upon receiving the news of the death of our dear uncle Philip. We will never forget the occasions we were able to share with him.”

there is only a well-known and delicate Achilles’ heel in the friendly relationship between the Bourbons and the Windsors: the Rock of Gibraltar. A constant reason for disputes and injuries to national pride and that was the main reason why Juan Carlos and Sofía did not attend the wedding of the future heir to the British throne. The kings of Spain were not in the link between Charles of Wales and Diana Spencer in 1981 because they were going to celebrate their honeymoon in the Rock.

Blood ties

However, the blood ties between the two royal families have managed to keep them together despite possible territorial conflicts and geostrategic interests. In this way, the affectionate nickname with which Felipe VI called Isabel II, “Aunt Lilibeth”, It is not a simple nickname, but both are linked by blood ties that date back to the 19th century.

Don Juan Carlos kept a blood relationship direct relationship with the queen of England on his father’s side. The grandmother of the king emeritus ‒married to Alfonso XIII and mother of Don Juan‒, was the granddaughter of the Queen Victoriawhich in turn was also the great-great-grandmother of Elizabeth II.

Queen Victoria of England, nicknamed Grandmother of Europe, had nine children with Prince Albert, lor that led him to extend the British Empire even further, and that over the years led to practically all royal houses being strongly related to each other due to the marriages that occurred with their offspring.

In this way, the youngest daughter of Queen Victoria, Beatrice from the UKwas the mother of Victoria Eugenie of Battenbergwho would later marry the Spanish monarch Alfonso XIII -who went into exile after the proclamation of the Second Republic- and with whom he would father six children, including Juan de Borbón, the father of the emeritus and grandfather of Felipe VI.


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