Princess Letizia took to the streets of Madrid for some below-the-radar shopping while her daughters were in school. Hola magazine took note of her cutting edge fashion.
Meanwhile, her husband, Prince Felipe, yesterday presided over a dinner marking a meeting of the Association of the Councils of State and Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions of the European Union at the Spanish Supreme Court.
In July, Queen Sofia is scheduled to visit the Philippines.
Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia visited New York, New Jersey and Boston last week to call for stronger ties between the U.S. and Europe, and highlight the importance of Spain in American history and its future.
The week ended on a high note with an appearance with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the end of the United States – Spain Council’s forum in Jersey City.
Their Royal Highneses met with Hispanic luminaries, Spanish business officials and other leaders, including the heads of media giants Telemundo and Univision, to boost Spain’s image in the U.S. and relations between both countries, which took a hit during the debate over the war in Iraq.
Post-Franco Spain has sought to boost its influence in the world, with a focus on Latin America. It appears the Royal Family and other leaders hope to make further inroads in the U.S. through the growing influence of Hispanics.
During a speech at Harvard University in Boston titled “Spain: An American Nation” as in other events throughout the week, Prince Felipe highlighted the common histories between Spain and the U.S., and the growth of Hispanic economic, linguistic and cultural influence.
“I see Spain not only as a European, Mediterranean or American country, but one with universal reach,” he said. “The Spanish Monarchy,” he added, “remains profoundly committed to the cause of Democracy in Latin America.”
Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia arrived in the U.S. yesterday and visited IESE Business School’s campus in New York today.
Like his father, Prince Felipe spoke about Spain’s ongoing economic troubles. He touted recent reforms and called for “more Europe” to solve the continental crisis. He said the monetary union was “weak” and suggested the need for a stronger pact.
Their Royal Highnesses participated in a business colloquium and met with students on campus. IESE is an outpost of the University of Navarra and the first European business school to set up a permanent facility in New York.
The Prince and Princess of Asturias are also scheduled to visit Harvard University this week.
Just yesterday, Prince Felipe was in Morocco. He met with Prince Moulay Rachid and business leaders from both countries.
Meanwhile, King Juan Carlos visited Civil Guard facilities near Gibraltar, as scheduled.
Some critics in that British outpost are calling to Monarch’s visit as a hostile act. Fishermen wanting access to disputed waters are calling on the King to intervene on their behalf. Spanish forces have already escorted them on fishing trips.
Queen Sofia is holding down the fort in Madrid. She presided over a meeting of the Royal Patronage for Disabilities and assisted an event organized by the Indian Embassy. She went with her sister Princess Irene.
King Juan Carlos will travel to Saudi Arabia this week to meet with the Royal Family there and express his condolences over the death of Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, a half brother of King Abdullah, according to Spanish media outlets.
Don Juan Carlos is close to the Saudi rulers, a relationship that has helped Spain cement economic ties with that country.
The trip abroad means the King will miss the ceremony to mark 200th anniversary of the Supreme Court. Coincidentally, the Court’s president has been involved in a scandal over lavish trips.
Prince Felipe will take his father’s place at the event.
Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia will visit the U.S. next week to reinforce bilateral relations.
The Prince and Princess of Asturias will visit New York and Boston, including Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. They will meet Spanish business leaders and hold discussions about American relations with the Iberoamerican world.
Princess Letizia also plans to visit an elementary school to promote the Spanish language.
A trip to Washington, however, does not appear on the calendar.
Also next week, King Juan Carlos will visit Civil Guard installations in Algeciras near Gibraltar. The visit has broader political implications with Spain calling for talks with the United Kingdom on Gibraltar’s political status and a dispute over fishing rights in the area.
Later this summer members of the Royal Family will rest at Marivent Palace in Palma de Mallorca. However, the Duke and Duchess of Palma won’t be there, according to media reports. The Duke Iñaki Urdangarin remains under investigation for corruption allegations.
Today King Juan Carlos welcomed several new ambassadors to the Kingdom of Spain at the Royal Palace in Madrid.
His Majesty received credentials from Roberto Eduardo Arango of Panama, Bakyt Dyussenbayev of Kazakhstan, Paulo Da Silva of Guinea-Bissau, Emmanuelle Restelli of San Marino and Russia’s Yuri P. Korchagin.
Today King Juan Carlos presided over the swearing-in of new Bank of Spain governor Luis María Linde de Castro. The ceremony at Zarzuela Palace comes amid a planned European capital injection into the troubled Spanish banking system.
Luis María Linde de Castro swore allegiance to the King while touching a copy of the Constitution and the Bible. A crucifix was also present according to custom.
The Bible, property of Charles IV, was open to the Book of Numbers. The Constitution was open to the section on the economy.
Media reports noted the King’s comments: “What times!”
King Juan Carlos is once again sounding off on the troubles in Europe and the extremely delicate Spanish economy.
In a visit to Chile yesterday, His Majesty said the problems in Europe are not economic but political. He talked about the robust nature of the continent’s finances compared to other places.
“Europe requires austerity and discipline,” he said. “But austerity alone will not save Europe.”
The King talked about the “unprecedented” reforms that the Spanish government has implemented in recent months. He said his country was starting to regain its competitiveness.
Don Juan Carlos met with Chilean President Sebastián Piñera. Like in Brazil, he took a swipe at Argentina by highlighting Chile’s commitment to the rule of law. Argentina recently expropriated a local branch of Spanish oil giant Repsol.
His Majesty today met with the leaders of Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Panama and Costa Rica. Media outlets are saying the King is back as Spain’s top champion.
“I am not at all tired,” he said, according to Spanish media.
Other members of the Royal Family, including Price Felipe and Princess Letizia, have been “holding down the fort” taking care of public events in Spain while the King is away.