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.


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 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.

King Felipe, along with other Spanish leaders, is lobbying for Barcelona to become home to the European Union’s prescription drug office, media outlets are reporting.

European leaders are skeptical of Barcelona’s candidacy amid the separatist crisis in Catalonia.


King Felipe during a gathering of the American Chamber of Commerce in Spain at the Royal Theater. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

It’s unlikely that the King’s efforts for Barcelona and the wider Catalan region will sway republicans and separatists who resent his vocal defense of constitutional order.

King Felipe today received Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for an official visit.


Don Felipe welcoming President Abbas. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King met with Abbas at Zarzuela Palace and then hosted a lunch for the Palestinian delegation at the Royal Palace in downtown Madrid.


King Felipe, President Abbas and other officials pose for pictures at Zarzuela Palace. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Israel has not taken too kindly with European efforts to recognize Palestinian statehood. But the King recently welcomed Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and with significantly more pomp.


Spanish and Palestinian delegations at the Madrid Royal Palace Hall of Columns. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

While the King greeted Abbas at Zarzuela and then hosted a lunch at the Madrid Royal Palace’s Hall of Columns, Rivlin got a larger welcoming and a grander gathering in the formal dining room.

Queen Letizia is on a brief work trip to Mexico this week without King Felipe.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Her Majesty visited the Mexican Red Cross headquarters in Mexico City yesterday and heard about recovery efforts following the recent earthquake there.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Today the Queen was set to attend a meeting of the Union for International Cancer Control.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia welcomed Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and his wife for a state visit this week.


Welcoming ceremonies at the Royal Palace in Madrid. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

The associated ceremonies were filled with particular pomp and came amid ongoing tensions in the Spanish Autonomous Community of Catalonia.

The visit showed the King wanting to strengthen ties with the State of Israel and highlighting Spain’s efforts to atone for expelling Jews in 1492.

The ceremonies also showed the King wanting to continue returning to a normal agenda.

President Rivlin highlighted Spain’s strength and unity during remarks, a nod to the tensions.


Queen Letizia, President Rivlin, King Felipe and Mrs. Rivlin at the Royal Palace during a State Dinner. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Polls show King Felipe with ratings above 70 percent, but Catalan nationalists are upset he took a hard line against the separatists.

Media outlets reported that some recipients of an award backed by the Crown declined the honor.