King Felipe and Queen Letizia helped lead a service for victims of COVID-19 at Almudena Cathedral in Madrid last week.
Almudena Cathedral is across from the Madrid Royal Palace, the King and Queen’s official residence. Spain was among the countries hardest hit by the disease but has been reopening after seeing cases fall dramatically.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia have been crisscrossing Spain for the past several week during a delicate time for the country and the Royal Family.
Their Majesties worked to be active during the pandemic lockdown and have been visible during the reopening, including visiting several museums and cultural attractions.
They have also visited beaches and walked through numerous communities. Their visits have been informal and meant to connect them with regular people.
Spaniards, fed up with corruption, the Catalan crisis, recession and scandal, have taken out their frustrations on the governing class — including the Monarchy. Despite the Royal Family’s efforts, many people see them as not having done enough to fight COVID-19.
Then there’s King Juan Carlos, who is embroiled in a financial scandal related to $100 million gift from the Saudis, some of which may have ended up in the hands of a former lover.
King Felipe has disconnected himself from his father financially and discussions are ongoing about the elder monarch’s status within the Royal Family.
Leonor, the Princess of Asturias and Girona, among other titles as heir to the Spanish throne, lamented last month that the Princess of Asturias Awards ceremony had to be held online because of the pandemic.
Joining Princess Leonor were King Felipe and Queen Letizia, and Infanta Sofia, the princess’ younger sister.
The Princess of Girona awards are a key part of the Spanish royal calendar, particularly for the community of Catalonia.
The Prince or Princess of Girona is traditionally the heir to the Crown of Aragon, one of the kingdom’s that make up modern Spain.
The Prince or Princess of Asturias title belongs to the heir of the Crown of Castile, which has long been the dominant Spanish kingdom.
The Princess of Asturias Awards are more high profile and of international significance, and handed out every year duding an elaborate ceremony in Oviedo, Asturias.
British newspaper the Telegraph says King Juan Carlos and a businessman friend paid almost $500,000 for King Felipe and Queen Letizia’s honeymoon. The article ties the current king to his father’s finances, which have been under scrutiny.
Spanish newspaper El Pais, when reporting the allegations, focused less on a father paying for his son’s honeymoon but on the businessman who contributed, Josep Cusí.
The Royal Household told El Pais it didn’t have additional comment and pointed to a previous statement, in which King Felipe cut financial ties with King Juan Carlos.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia, formerly and prince and princess of Asturias, got married in 2004. They went on honeymoon to Cambodia, Fiji and California.
King Felipe today, in remarks during the first semi-open royal event since the pandemic hit Spain, called on citizens to use their intelligence and sacrifice for recovery.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia gathered with other socially-distanced and masked officials at the Cotec Foundation’s annual report release in Madrid. The group focuses on innovation. Most people had to watch online.
The King and Queen have been active during the pandemic but they’ve been focused on meeting with officials and visiting first responders.