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Archive for October, 2012

Prince Felipe expressed his commitment to the Spanish people and the country’s recovery from an ongoing bitter recession and sky high unemployment.

The heir to the Spanish throne made his comments during the Prince of Asturias Awards ceremony last week in Oviedo in the Principality of Asturias, located in the norther part of the country.

Head table at Campoamor Theater.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

The Prince and his wife, Princess Letizia, who actually hails from Asturias, met with local leaders and award recipients at the Reconquista Hotel the evening before Friday’s awards ceremony.

During his keynote address the Prince said he carries out his responsibilities with “pride and confidence in Spain’s future.” He said every Spaniard, including himself, needed to give their all to help the nation recover.

Queen Sofia at the awards ceremony.

The awards, hosted by the Prince of Asturias Foundation, have grown in international prestige. Winners included the Federation of Spanish Food Banks, the Red Cross, and soccer stars Iker Casillas and Xavi Hernández.

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

On Saturday, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia made their way to the community of Bueño, which received an award for its efforts at promoting quality of life, and historic and natural preservation.

Prince of Asturias and Girona are official titles for the heir to the Spanish throne. Among the King’s numerous titles is Count of Barcelona.

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Spain’s King Juan Carlos finished a four-day state visit to India today, where the two countries finalized several bilateral agreements and pledged increased economic cooperation.

King Juan Carlos meeting with business leaders in Mumbai.

The King met with the Indian leadership, along with local and international business leaders. Bilateral commerce between both countries was worth around $5 billion last year, the Royal Household said.

“Today our societies can only progress with a climate of openness, stability and security,” the King said during one of his stops. The King has made global trade a priority as a means of improving Spain’s ailing economy.

State Dinner in New Delhi.

The King secured Indian support for Spain gaining a seat in the United Nations Security Council. Other agreements include investment in a Catalonian firm and more joint defense activities.

King Juan Carlos offers flowers for Mahatma Gandhi.

Media outlets reported that King Juan Carlos said the situation inside Spain makes him want to cry, but he also encouraged people not to be pessimistic about the country’s future.

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An important story about the Spanish Royal family has begun trickling into the international media. The story is important not because of its gossip value but because of its constitutional lessons.

Two Spanish courts have rejected claims from two people saying the are illegitimate children of King Juan Carlos. The Telegraph wrote this about Alberto Sola Jimenez from Catalonia and Ingrid Sartiau from Belgium:

In an interview earlier this year she said: “My mother told me who my father was while we were watching television. An image of King Juan Carlos flashed up and she said: ‘That man’s your father.'”

The pair met for the first time in June when they underwent DNA tests that show there is a 91 per cent chance that they have one parent in common.

However, the courts rejected their claims because the Spanish Constitution makes clear that the person of the King is “inviolable.”

King Juan Carlos receives new ambassadors at Royal Palace in Madrid.

The Royal Household has remained silent about the story, which has appeared in El Mundo and El Huffington Post, but has not been prevalent in many mainstream media outlets.

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Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia were in Luxembourg this weekend attending the wedding of Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg and Belgian Countess Stephanie de Lannoy.

© EFE

Their Royal Highnesses joined royals from around the world, including Japan. The wedding is being called the most significant royal event in Luxembourg in three decades.

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Queen Sofia has spent much of the week crisscrossing the South American nation of Bolivia, a source of immense mineral wealth for Spain during imperial times.

Queen Sofia with indigenous Bolivians and in local clothes.

Her Majesty met with Bolivian President Evo Morales, who thanked the Queen for Spain’s efforts at helping his country.

The two also signed an agreement aimed at resolving the controversy over the discovery of coins from a sunken Spanish ship. Spain went to court to obtain possession of the valuable treasure.

But because the coins were minted in the imperial mining city of Potosí, Spain will allow Bolivia to host its own display of the find.

Morales, known as one of Latin America’s most outspoken advocates of indigenous rights, greeted the Spanish Monarch with warmth.

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

During the trip, Queen Sofia visited development projects backed by Spain, including the Queen Sofia Foundation.

King’s gets a rap

Last week, young students visited King Juan Carlos to present projects depicting what the Monarchy means to them.

One of the students sand a rap for the King, which has become somewhat viral in Spain.

The contest was backed by the Spanish Institutional Foundation, a non-profit group which promotes the Monarchy among youth.

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Politics and Spain’s tough economic situation surrounded the annual Fiesta Nacional in Madrid today.

The celebrations, including a military parade, cost a fraction of what it did in previous years in keeping with times of austerity.

© Casa S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

King Juan Carlos was seen chatting with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy during the parade. Media outlets are reporting that the King criticized the education minister’s comments in favor of making Catalonian children more Spanish.

Amid talks of independence in that autonomous community, Prince Felipe told journalists that he is not worried about Catalonia and that the Crown would continue its commitment to all Spaniards.

At the Royal Palace, however, King Juan Carlos joked with journalists instead of talking about the Catalonian situation.

Throne Room, Royal Palace.
© Casa S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Also of note, Infanta Elena was not with other members of the Royal Family during many of the ceremonies.

The Royal Household told media outlets that only the the King, Queen and the heirs to the throne would be included in the main stand from now on.

“The time had to come,” Infanta Elena told reporters. She will continue to represent the Royal Family at official events.

The Infantas have usually been close to their father during important events, but things have changed amid Infanta Cristina’s absence from the family’s public affairs because of her husband’s corruption probe.

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King Juan Carlos’ son-in-law, the Duke of Palma, Iñaki Urdangarín, has resigned from an advisory and leadership post at Telefónica Brasil, numerous media outlets are reporting.

Infranta Cristina’s husband is embroiled in a corruption probe, with prosecutors accusing him of using a non-profit he helped lead for private gain.

Earlier this year, Urdangarín announced he was taking a leave from his post at Spanish multinational Telefónica. As a result, the couple moved back to Spain full-time and left their Washington, D.C. area home.

The Duke and Duchess, which have not been participating in official events, are also not expected to be at the upcoming Hispanic Day activities.

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