Royal Household of Spain

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Royal Household
Household of His Majesty the King of Spain
Distintivo Felipe VI de España (color THV).svg
Insignia of the Royal Household
RoleExecutive office of the king
Established16th century
CountryKingdom of Spain
Responsible toKing Felipe VI
Head of the HouseholdJaime Alfonsín Alfonso
Secretary-GeneralLt Gen. Domingo Martínez Palomo
Constitution instrument1978 Constitution
(Current household)
Previous nameRoyal Household and Heritage of the Crown of Spain
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The Royal Household of Spain, officially the Household of His Majesty the King of Spain, is the constitutional body whose primary function is to provide aid and support to the King of Spain in the exercise of his royal duties and prerogatives. These include his role as head of state and as Supreme Commander of the Spanish Armed Forces. It functions as the king's executive office.

The household is under the direct authority of the king, who personally selects the individuals he chooses to aid him in his constitutional duties. It is a constitutional institution, as laid down in Spain’s constitution of 1978. While the household is part of Spain’s governmental structure, it is not under the control or influence of any other state institution. The household ensures that the king has the independent means to perform all of his state functions. In particular, it is not under the administrative control of the Prime Minister or the Council of Ministers. The only authority to whom it answers is the king himself.

One of the household's primary functions is to facilitate communications between the king and the other state authorities. It is responsible for written and oral communications between the king and the government departments. It organizes and schedules meetings between the king, the Prime Minister, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, State Secretaries, Under Secretaries and other officials.

Its budget, like those of the Office of the Prime Minister, the Council of Ministers, the Supreme Court, the Armed Forces and many others, is approved by the houses of the Spanish Parliament on a yearly basis.


The current Royal Household has its historical precedent in the Royal Household and Heritage of the Crown of Spain, which was made defunct by the establishment of the Second Spanish Republic in 1931. Following the eventual restoration of the monarchy and Juan Carlos I's accession to the throne as king in 1975, a new Royal Household was established.[1] This new household was completely different from the former court of his grandfather, Alfonso XIII. The modern Royal Household is much simpler than the precedent institution and it was decided not to recreate the majority of offices which existed in the old Royal Household, maintaining basically the Head of the Royal Household and the Secretary General of the Royal Household. Both these offices are held by professional, senior civil servants, even if they come from the nobility.

Royal Household budget

According to article 65(1) of the 1978 constitution , the Head of State is entitled to compensation from the annual state budget for the maintenance of his family and household administration, and distributes these funds at his discretion.

This budget is used to pay the salaries of members of the royal family who perform duties on behalf of the Spanish state. It also pays for the salaries and benefits ( retirement, medical etc. ) of the staff who work directly for the Household of his Majesty the King. The budget approved for 2018 is €7,887,150. Less than 9% of this budget was assigned to the salaries of the royal family. For the 2018 budget the royal salaries were as follows:

His Majesty the King €242,769.

Her Majesty the Queen €133,530.

Her Majesty the Queen Emeritus €109,260

Her Royal highness the Princess of Asturias € 0

Her Royal highness the Infanta Sophia € 0

The two princesses are currently in school and do not perform public functions and as such do not receive a salary. Once they come of age they will assume public duties and be granted a salary in order to accomplish those duties [2]

The 2018 budget assigned the following salaries to the top leadership of the royal household:[3]

Head of the Household €140,374

Secretary General of the Household €137,951

Head of the Military Household €110,901

Financial Comptroller €101,808

Diplomatic Counselor €134,701

Cabinet Chief €106,006

Secretary to Her Majesty the Queen €104,895

Chief of the Security Service €104,187

Director of communications €101,345

Chief of protocol €101,323

Chief of administration and infrastructure €105,897

Organizational structure

According to article 65(2) of the 1978 constitution, "The King freely appoints and dismisses the civilian and military members of his household."

In accordance with article 65(2), the authority to organize the royal household of his Majesty the King is vested in the Monarch. In the exercise of this authority the king chooses what officers and departments form a part of the royal household. He also determines the functions and duties that they are responsible for carrying out. The sovereign exercises this authority in the form of a Royal Decree.

The current structure of the royal household is set down in Royal decree 434/1988 and subsequent amendments to it as ordered by the king.

Head of the Household

The Head of the Household is responsible for operation of the services. In the field of economic, financial, budgetary and accounting management, a Controller, with managerial rank, is assigned to the Head of H.M. The King's Household.

The Heads of the Household have successively been:

General Secretariat

The Secretary General is the Deputy Head of H.M. The King's Household and responsible for the co-ordination of all its services. He also replaces the Head of the Household in the case of absence or illness. The General Secretariat is divided into units, whose heads form the Household's management team.

The Planning & Co-ordination Cabinet is the support unit for both the Head of the Household and the Secretary General, with assistance and immediate collaboration tasks in the fulfillment of the duties assigned to them. The Bureau and Activities and Programmes form part of this Cabinet.

The Office of H.M. The Queen's Secretary carries out the study, preparation and implementation of all matters related to H.M. The Queen's activities, as well as those of Their Royal Highnesses The Infantas.

Formerly there was the Office of H.R.H. The Prince of Asturias' Secretary before Felipe VI's accession to the throne in 2014. This was responsible for carrying out the study, preparation and implementation of all matters related to the activities of Felipe and his wife. Following Juan Carlos I's abdication. An office for him was created.

The Security Service is responsible for the Royal Family’s immediate security. It has a Commander and is composed of members of the State Security Forces, assigned by the Ministry of the Interior.

Communications maintains contact with professionals from the media, informing them of the official activities of the Royal Family, as well as their contents and organisation.

Protocol prepares and manages all aspects pertaining to protocol of the Royal Family’s different activities, both in Spain and abroad.

Administration, Infrastructure and Services manages the financial and budgetary side, as well as matters pertaining to the Household's staff. It manages and organises telecommunication and information services. It co-ordinates general maintenance of the installations of La Zarzuela Palace. The Quartermaster's Office and the Communications and Information Centre form part of this unit.

The General Secretariat's staff aggregates 137 civil servants, apart from those assigned to the Security Service by the Ministry of the Interior.

The Secretaries General have successively been:

Military Chamber

The Military Chamber Commander represents, at His Majesty The King’s immediate service, the Military Establishment within His Majesty’s Household.

The Military Chamber prepares the military activities of the Royal Family's members and maintains the relations of a military nature with the authorities of the Ministry of Defence.

The Lieutenant-General or General on active duty is the Commander of the Military Chamber in command of the Royal Guard. The Commander of the Military Chamber counts, for immediate support and collaboration, on a Cabinet, on an advisor belonging to the Military Legal Corps and on a Military Auditor. The Cabinet is divided into four Sections covering staff, protocol, operations and logistics, respectively.

The Aides-de-Champ to His Majesty The King, organised in successive 24-hour duty periods, assist His Majesty, in a permanent fashion and when carrying out his official duties, as well as H.M. The Queen. They also form part of the Retinue of Honour of foreign Heads of State on official visit to Spain. Formerly the Royal Decree prescribed that four belong to the Army, two to the Navy, two to the Air Force and one to the Civil Guard. This was amended in 2015 to remove any set number.

Felipe VI as Prince of Asturias had his own Aides-de-Camp who assisted him, in a permanent fashion and when carrying out his official activities, as well as his wife. One belonged to the Army, another one to the Navy and the last one to the Air Force. Leonor, Princess of Asturias is entitled, in future, to her own aides-de-camp.

Head of military chamber have successively been:

  • 1986–? — José Santos Peralba Giráldez
  • 2002–? — Antonio González-Aller
  •  ?–2010 — Felipe Carlos Victoria de Ayala
  • 2010–2014 — Antonio de la Corte
  • 2014–present — Juan Ruiz Casas

See also


  1. ^ Decreto 2942/1975, de 25 de noviembre, por el que se crea la Casa de Su Majestad el Rey. BOE núm. 284, de 26 de noviembre de 1975, p. 24667.
  2. ^ "Inicio - Ejercicio 2018 - Presupuesto". Retrieved 2019-08-20.
  3. ^ "Inicio - Ejercicio 2018 - Retribuciones de Altos Cargos". Retrieved 2019-08-20.

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