Prince or Princess of Asturias (, ) under the Spanish Constitution of 1978, is the historical and official title given to the heir to the Spanish throne. It was also the title under the earlier Crown of Castile. The current heir to the Spanish throne, therefore Princess of Asturias is Leonor, Princess of Asturias, daughter of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain. Other associated titles originate from some of the other kingdoms that formed Spain: Prince of Viana (for Navarre), Prince of Girona (for Aragon), Duke of Montblanc (for Catalonia), Count of Cervera (for Valencia) and Lord of Balaguer (for Majorca).
Military dictator Francisco Franco appointed Juan Carlos de Borbón as his "successor with the title of King" but gave him the new title of Prince of Spain instead of Prince of Asturias.
King Felipe VI, during his tenure as Prince of Asturias, instituted what is now called the Princess of Asturias Awards, since the incumbent heir to the Spanish throne is Princess Leonor.
Príncipe de Asturias Peak in Vinson Massif, Antarctica is named after the Prince of Asturias.
After the death of King Peter of Castile in 1369, the kingdom was drawn yet deeper in a civil war, disputes and long rivalled between English claimant, John, Duke of Lancaster, and two successive Trastámara claimants, Kings Henry II of Castile and his son John I of Castile. After two decades of conflicts of varying intensity, the parties arrived at compromise through means of marriage: the future Henry III of Castile (1379–1406) was married to Catherine of Lancaster in 1388. A part of the pact ("Accord of Bayonne") was to elevate the young couple to a title, Prince and Princess of Asturias, which was modelled after that of Prince of Wales in England. The title was to belong to the official successor of the Castilian throne. Thus the first Prince and Princess of Asturias were the young Henry of Castile and Catherine of Lancaster.
In the first years the title was not only honorary, as it included the ownership of the territory of Asturias; the Prince ruled the Principality in representation of the King and was able to appoint judges, mayors, etc. This was changed by the Catholic Monarchs, who limited the scope of the title making it merely honorary; this decision was upheld by the members of the House of Habsburg and the House of Bourbon until the present day.
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