Royals Honor King Juan Carlos

Members of the Spanish Royal Family honored King Felipe’s father, King Juan Carlos, last week.

The Royal Household last year kept Don Juan Carlos away from a celebration of the Spanish Constitution, which he signed.

This year there appears to be a pivot to celebrating the King who abdicated in 2014 and helped lead his country’s transition to Democracy during the 1970’s and 80’s.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe praised his father during the Pascua Militar ceremony at the Royal Palace in Madrid, which coincides every year with Epiphany.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Earlier, family and guests were at Zarzuela Palace for King Juan Carlos’ 80th birthday.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Infanta Cristina, whose husband was convicted of financial crimes, was not in the official pictures.


King Warns Separatists, Urges Optimism

The Spanish Royal Family will retake its agenda over the weekend with the annual Pascua Militar ceremonies at the Royal Palace in Madrid.

Last month, King Felipe closed the year by taking on — once again — the separatist threat in Catalonia during his Christmas Eve address.

After elections there before Christmas, in which pro-independence parties lost the majority of votes but won the most seats, the King warned against efforts to break away.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

“The path cannot take us again to confrontation or exclusion that, as we know, only generate discord, uncertainty and poverty — moral, civic and of course economic — for an entire society,” said the King.

Catalan nationalists accused the King of not softening his tone from an earlier speech on the crisis and for siding with the conservative ruling party.

Mainstream commentators, however, noted that conservatives were not happy with the King’s remarks either because it appeared to accuse them of not seeking a negotiated settlement.

The King’s speech is always rife with symbolism. Over his right shoulder is a Princess of Asturias Awards trophy. Over his left shoulder is a Princes of Girona Awards trophy. The Princess of Girona is the historical heir to the Aragonese Throne, associated with Catalonia. Don Felipe’s daughter holds the title. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King also encouraged Spaniards to be confident in their Democracy and — while addressing corruption and the economy — to be more proud of their achievements.

The Royal Household released the Christmas cards below last month. The King and Queen and their daughters featured a family picture.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia’s card featured, as is tradition, an image of Spanish art.

The Pascua Militar, which coincides with the Christian celebration of Epiphany, is one of the year’s most important military-related events.

King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia Mourn Romanian King

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were in Romania in recent days to mourn King Michael, who received a state funeral despite not dying as a reigning monarch.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia with other members of European royalty.

King Michael ruled during two different periods of Romanian history before being forced to abdicate. He died earlier this month in Switzerland.

Both King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia shared family and friendship ties with King Michael.


Flurry Of Events, Trips Before Holidays

Spain’s royal are continuing their intense agenda ahead of the Christmas holidays.

In recent days King Felipe swore in Julián Sánchez Melgar as new state prosecutor.

Sánchez Melgar taking the oath at Zarzuela Palace © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Queen Letizia left on a trip to Senegal, where she will see Spanish foreign aid at work.

Queen Letizia with Senegal First Lady Marième Faye. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Juan Carlos, who has been on the agenda more than usual in recent weeks, attended the opening of an exhibit on Spanish flight history.

© Fundación ENAIRE

Queen Sofia accepted a human rights award to the Queen Sofia Foundation at the University of Seville.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Several other events are already on the schedule, include a visit by King Felipe to the Canary Islands.

King Honors Political Giant

King Felipe today honored former Congress of Deputies Presiddent Manuel Marín González, who died at 68.

Don Felipe met with family members and parliamentarians at the Congress Palace in Madrid.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Marín González was Congress president from 2004 to 2008 under the Socialist Party. He was also a diplomat and helped Spain become a member of the European Union.

Heavy Agenda For King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia have been in the public eye several times in recent weeks, sometimes together.

Their Majesties have kept a lower profile since handing the reins to King Felipe and Queen Letizia, but stay close to favorite projects.

The elder King and Queen were together late last month for an awards ceremony at the Royal Academy of Sciences.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Don Juan Carlos was present by himself also recently for handing out the 11th Fondena Prize for nature protection.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Queen Sofia was by herself early last month at the Royal Palace in Madrid to hand out a prize in her name for Ibero-American poetry.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Both King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were at the headquarters of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts to celebrate the Royal Theater.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Today Queen Sofia attended a meeting of the leadership of the Íñigo Álvarez de Toledo renal foundation.

King Mourns Attorney General

King Felipe this week mourned Spanish State Prosecutor José Manuel Maza, who died suddenly while on a trip to Argentina.

King Felipe and other leaders mourn Maza at the Spanish state prosecutor’s headquarters in Madrid. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Maza’s death comes as he was presiding over prosecutions of Catalan separatist leaders. The Spanish government promised to replace him quickly.