King Felipe and Queen Letizia presided over the impressive Fiesta Nacional military parade in Madrid last week, and then a reception at the Royal Palace.

The events are staples in Spain, but the new King and Queen have tried to include more people in the festivities.


Their Majesties — along with their daughters, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia — arrived in their ceremonial Rolls Royce surrounded by Royal Guard horses.

While the crowd was hoping to catch a glimpse or the royals, troops and fighter jets, and avoid the rain, political figures were looking for clues.


Parties have been unable to form a government after two elections, but Socialists may abstain in the coming weeks and allow the conservative Popular Party to keep governing.

Media outlets and lawmakers were studying interactions between different leaders to see how things may develop.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Pablo Iglesias, the leader of left-wing insurgent party Podemos, did not attend the festivities. He has in the past expressed opposition to the monarchy.

Also not there were the regional presidents of the Basque Country, Navarra and Catalonia, all of which want to distance themselves from the Royal Family for political reasons.

There is no simple story about the Spanish Royal Jewels. And the misinformation online abounds.

Some jewels are said to have been destroyed in a fire. Others are said to have been stolen or gone missing during Napoleon’s invasion. Rumors indicate some others remain hidden at the Royal Palace in Madrid.

We are going to stick with facts, and update this post as new credible information arises.

For starters, Spain does not have a Royal Crown, at least not in the physical sense. The crown is a heraldic symbol.


Spanish Royal Crown on the Spanish Coat of Arms.

However, in recent centuries, the Royal Family has displayed a crown made during the 1700’s during extremely important events, including funerals and proclamations.

King Felipe displayed it during his own investiture ceremonies in 2014 at the Congress of the Deputies. It is not meant to be worn.

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The public only got to see the crown on extremely rare occasions. But under the new King, Patrimonio Nacional — which holds royal collections and runs royal palaces — has put it on display.


In a glass display box next to the very large crown is Royal Scepter. It has been around since at least the 1700’s but it’s exact provenance is not known.


Queen Isabella used many of her jewels to impress foreign ambassadors during the late 1400’s. She also used them to help finance the Reconquista wars.

Isabella’s crown and scepter are on display near her resting place at a church in Granada, a prized city in her quest to take back control of the Iberian Peninsula from Muslim rulers.


During the 1800’s, Queen Isabella II gave her crown of topaz and diamonds to the Virgin of Atocha in Madrid. It is now part of the Royal Collections.


Generally, the jewels that members of the Spanish Royal Family wear today are considered privately owned. Queen Letizia and Queen Sofia hold several tiaras.


Queen Sofia wearing different tiaras.

One of the tiaras belonged to Queen Maria Christina of Austria. Another was a gift from German Emperor Wilhelm II to Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia, Queen Sofia’s grandmother.

Another was a gift from Generalissimo Francisco Franco to Queen Sofia on the occasion of her marriage to King Juan Carlos.

Last year, Queen Letizia debuted a new tiara by Spanish jeweler Ansorena made of diamonds and pearls, and includes a Fleur-de-lis, a symbol of the House of Bourbon.  It is said to be a gift from the King.


© Agencia EFE

The story of the Peregrine pearl is an example of the complicated nature of Spanish royal jewels. It ended up in the hands of Elizabeth Taylor.

But Queen Sofia has been seen wearing a similar large pearl, and some royal watchers say the Peregrine remains in the family’s hands.

King Felipe has called a new round of consultations with party leaders amid the possibility of an agreement to form a new government.

After two elections, Spain has been without a government for months, with no party winning an outright majority in parliament or being able to form a coalition.

But indications that Socialists may allow the conservatives to stay in power, and the new talks, have set the country abuzz. The King¨began trending on Twitter.


King Felipe and Queen Letizia preside over a meeting of the Cervantes Institute and Ibero-American ambassadors at the Royal Palace of Aranjuez. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Media outlets are scrutinizing the King´s schedule for signs of when the new government may take hold.

His Majesty has several key events in the coming weeks, including the Ibero-American summit.

Crews have been getting the streets and plazas of Madrid for National Day festivities, particularly the military parade tomorrow.

Workers were almost done setting up the King and Queen´s viewing stand, and setting up barriers.


Military men and women have been arriving in the capital and rehearsing their roles.

Queen Letizia and Queen Sofia hit the streets of Madrid in recent days to participate in the Spanish Red Cross’ top fundraiser.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Members of the Royal Family and King’s Family traditionally appear around the city to greet supporters and raise money.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Queen Sofia set up in downtown Madrid while Queen Letizia visited Red Cross headquarters.

King Felipe attended the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres late last month.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King met with top world leaders and current Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The Royal Household noted Spain’s move to grant citizenship to descendants of Jews expelled centuries ago.

King Juan Carlos traveled to Cartagena, Colombia this week to the signing ceremony for the peace accord between the country’s government and the FARC rebel group.


The King with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Don Juan Carlos’ attendance — wearing white along with other heads of state — shows the importance Spain gives to relations with Latin America.


The relationship is mostly reciprocal. Latin American leaders tend to give members of the Spanish Royal Family particular attention during their trips to the region.