Palace Welcomes New Puppy

Queen Sofia, known for her love of animals, has decided to bring a new companion home to Zarzuala Palace — an abandoned dog named Paquita.

Her Majesty fell in love with Paquita during a visit to an animal fair in Madrid on the 26th.

Click here to read more in Hola.


Update: Gov. Scott Screws Up, Kinda

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) seems to have messed up during his recent visit with King Juan Carlos in Madrid.

Video of the governor’s visit shows him repeatedly bringing up the King’s recent elephant hunting trip, which became a major international embarrassment.

At one point, the governor suggests, in jest, that Don Juan Carlos come up with a better story about how he broke a hip.

Spanish media outlets are making fun of the governor. And Florida outlets are questioning Mr. Scott’s judgment.

But, knowing about King Juan Carlos’ ways, he probably took it in stride and, perhaps, even laughed about it. And Gov. Scott appears to have truly enjoyed meeting with the King.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

His Majesty has a history with Florida politicians. Former Gov. Charlie Crist once broke protocol by leaving an event early and seemingly abandoning Don Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.

The Tampa Bay Times also details an incident where local leaders failed to arrange a proper welcome to the Spanish head of state.

No More Budget Cuts for Royal Household

The Partido Popular and the Socialists have rejected calls for more cuts to the Spanish Royal Household, El País reported yesterday.

Queen Sofia at the opera.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Two minority parties, including anti monarchists, say 8.26 million euros is too much money to pay for head of state operations. But Household defenders say Spain has the cheapest head of state system in Europe.

Prince Felipe meeting with military officials.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

The 8.26 million euros assignment for 2012 is 2 percent less than 2011.



Florida Governor Visits King at Zarzuela

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) met with King Juan Carlos today at Zarzuela Palace. The governor is in Spain trying to strengthen business ties between that country and his state.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

The Governor’s wife, U.S. Ambassador Aland Solomont, an official with Enterprise Florida Inc., and others were at the meeting, according to the Royal Household.

Don Juan Carlos and Gov. Scott also discussed the upcoming 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de León reaching Florida.

Titles of the King of Spain

Many people don’t realize that His Majesty King Juan Carlos I has many titles other than “King of Spain.” As Wikipedia explains:

The constitution allows for the use of other historic titles pertaining to the Spanish monarchy, without specifying them.

A decree promulgated 6 November 1987 at the Council of Ministers regulates the titles further, and on that basis the monarch of Spain has a right to use (“may use”) those other titles appertaining to the Crown.

Contrary to some belief, the long titular that contains the list of over 20 kingdoms is not in state use, nor is it used in Spanish diplomacy.

In fact, it has never been in use in that form, as “Spain” was never a part of the list in pre-1837 era when the long list was officially used. This feudal style was last used officially in 1836, in the titulary of Isabella II of Spain before she became constitutional Queen.

Therefore, the King’s titles include King of Jerusalem, of Castile, of León, of Aragón, of the Two Sicilies, of Navarre, of Granada, of Toledo, of Valencia, of Galicia, of Majorca, of Seville, of Sardinia, of Córdoba, of Corsica, of Murcia, of Menorca, of Jaén, of Gibraltar, of the Canary Islands, of the East and West Indies, and of the Islands and Mainland of the Ocean Sea.

Arms of King Juan Carlos.

Also, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, of Brabant, of Milan, of New Patras, Count of Habsburg, of Flanders, of Tyrol, of Roussillon and of Barcelona.

Plus, Lord of Biscay and of Molina.

It is important to remember that modern Spain is a combination of several Kingdoms. Plus, the Spanish Monarch has at different times in history controlled land and interests well beyond the Iberian Peninsula. The King of Spain was once also Holy Roman Emperor.

However, it is the Duchess of Alba who has the most aristocratic titles. Media reports indicate that Cayetana Fitz-James has 44 noble titles and 150 hereditary ones.

Duchess of Alba.

King, Queen Hand Out Prestigious Awards

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia handed out Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts gold medals to several Spanish luminaries today at Zarzuela Palace just outside Madrid.

Recipients were tenor Plácido Domingo, filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, Tamara Rojo, Sara Baras  and Paco Peña.

King Juan Carlos and Almodóvar.

The King thanked the Washington, D.C.-based Kennedy Center for showcasing Spanish culture. He also noted Spain’s connection with American history and the importance of Hispanic culture in the U.S.  And he said the award recipients “contribute with their work to maintain Spain’s name at the highest levels of artistic creation.”

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Queen Sofia Cancels Trip Over Gibraltar

Queen Sofia has cancelled a planned trip to London on Friday because of tensions between the Spanish and British governments over the disputed colony of Gibraltar, media reports indicate.

Specifically, the Spanish government has expressed displeasure over British Prince Edward’s visit to Gibraltar to mark Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. Queen Sofia’s visit to England was also connected to the celebrations.

Queen Sofia.
© Agencia EFE

Both Queen Sofia and King Juan Carlos have family and friendship ties to Queen Elizabeth.  Also, Queen Sofia’s brother, former Greek King Constantine, is Prince William’s Godfather.

Royal Wedding 1962

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia marked their 50th wedding anniversary at home today with their daughters, Infanta Elena and Infanta Cristina.

Juan Carlos, then Prince of Spain, and Princess Sofia of Greece and Denmark, daughter of the Hellenic Monarchs, married in Athens on May 14, 1962. They went through Catholic and Orthodox ceremonies to appease religious and political leaders in each country.

Contrary to tradition, Juan Carlos was formally called Prince of Spain and not Prince of Asturias. That’s because by calling him the latter, dictator Francisco Franco would have legitimized Juan Carlos’ father as rightful King of Spain. Don Juan de Borbón y Battenberg was living in exile in Portugal.

The wedding, which some critics compare to a “contract,” was important for both royal houses. Greek Queen Frederica of Hanover wanted her daughter Sofia to find a prince that could make her queen someday. At the same time, Prince Juan Carlos needed someone who could help him restore Spain’s monarchy.

Historians consider the union, and Queen Frederica’s counsel, essential to helping Juan Carlos succeed General Franco as Spanish head of state. Even though Franco had been grooming the Prince for years, nobody knew if Juan Carlos would actually manage to become King.

Prince Juan Carlos proclaimed King, 1975.

Franco, who spied on the young couple living at the Zarzuela Palace near the Generalissimo’s own residence of El Pardo Palace, wanted to make sure Juan Carlos would continue his nationalist movement. At the same time, the world’s leaders were wary of the young prince’s commitment to Democracy. And his father in Portugal wanted to become king himself.

Spanish Television aired this mini-documentary on the wedding, which was produced in 2002 for the King and Queen’s 40th wedding anniversary.

Family Holds Funeral for Duke’s Father

Infanta Cristina, Duchess of Plama, arrived in Spain this weekend with her children on time for her father-in-law’s funeral in the Basque County.

Juan María Urdangarín, father of Iñaki Urdangarín, the Duke of Palma, died Thursday. The former businessman was once president of Caja Vital savings bank. The ceremony was at the Basílica of San Prudencio de Armentia near Vitoria.

Media reports indicate that Doña Cristina visited her father, the King, at Zarzuela Palace near Madrid before making her way north. It is the first time the Urdangarín children have been in Spain for months, according to the reports.

Queen Sofia and Infanta Elena visited the family on Friday to pay their respects.

Click here for story and images from El País.

Click here for story and images from Spanish Television.

Are the King and Queen Estranged?

The British press has confirmed that King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia will not be celebrating their Golden Wedding anniversary.

The Daily Mail, citing Royal Household sources, said no private or public parties are planned.

The news appears to be getting more attention abroad than in Spain, where the media often refrain from being too critical of the Monarch, especially when it comes to private issues.

King and Queen wedding anniversary on May 14.

Global media outlets have been reporting allegations that King Juan Carlos has been with many other women. And Spanish media noted the Queen’s short hospital visit when her husband was recovering from hip replacement surgery.