King Charles’ coronation this weekend shows how different the British Royal Family is from other European monarchies.
While the British put crowns on their king and queen, other countries simply proclaim their monarchs. In Spain and other countries, the crown remains to the side.
Spain doesn’t actually have a royal crown — at least not a physical one. The crown King Felipe used for his proclamation is similar to the heraldic crown use in Spanish coats of arms. It dates to the 1700s and is currently on display at the Madrid Royal Palace.
But before 2014, however, that crown stayed locked away. It was used for King Juan Carlos’ proclamation in the 1970s, but was not given as much importance as other crown jewels around the world. Looking at it closely, it’s not an updated representation of Spain’s constituent realms. That crown is also very large — larger than it seems.
The Spanish Royal Family have several tiaras and numerous pieces of jewelry that have been handed down. But through civil war, two republics, a dictatorship and other strife, few crown jewels remain and almost none are regularly on display.
King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia traveled to London this weekend to participate in the coronation of King Charles III and associated activities.
Their Majesties have traveled to London several times since becoming Spain’s king and queen in 2014. King Felipe’s proclamation was a more modest affair, largely because of economic and political crises, and did not involve royals from other countries.
Absent from the coronation was Queen Sofia, who is close to the British Royal Family. Her last public engagement was last week during an event for food banks in Spain.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia hosted Colombia’s new leftist president, Gustavo Petro, and his wife, Verónica Alcocer, for a state visit this week.
The visit included a welcoming ceremony at the Royal Palace in Madrid, meetings at Zarzuela Palace and then a dinner at the Royal Palace. Colombia also hosted a reception at the Royal Palace of El Pardo, as is tradition for some state visits.
Petro’s election generated headlines around the world. He’s an economist but also a former guerilla fighter.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia hosted Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and his wife, Rosângela Lula da Silva, for a lunch at the Madrid Royal Palace last week.
Their Majesties welcomed the Brazilian leader to an official visit to Spain after a stop in Portugal. Brazil is a former Portuguese colony.
Later in the week, King Felipe held an event at the Royal Palace of El Pardo outside Madrid to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a foundation dedicated to promoting closer ties between Spain and Brazil.
The Spanish government’s plan for training Princess Leonor in all branches of the military has caused a fight between King Felipe and Queen Letizia, according to media reports.
Journalist and royal chronicler Pilar Eyre wrote that the issue has caused a violent argument between Their Majesties. It included slammed doors.
The Spanish and international media have repeated the claims, going as far as to suggest the King and Queen are near the breaking point.
Queen Letizia has long been committed to Princess Leonor’s preparation to take on the Spanish throne. However, the Queen has also long been wary of the Royal Household’s close ties to the military. The King is the head of the armed forces.
Also, the military training regime the government prepared for the Princess of Asturias is tougher than what the King and his father, King Juan Carlos, had to go through.
Still, it’s unlikely the fighting — if true — would lead to a divorce. Both the King and Queen know breaking up would imperil the Crown and their daughter’s future.
Their Majesties were seen together during events in the Andalusian city of Cadiz on the Spanish language. Their moment interacting with musicians received widespread attention.