Little is known outside of Spain about a force of about 2,000 service members from different branches of the Spanish Armed Forces, including the Armada, who are dedicated to protecting the King and foreign dignitaries.
They also participate in parades, motorcade transport, changing of the guard ceremonies while the King is at the Royal Palace and monthly displays.
Members of the Royal Guard have served in combat abroad.
Click here for video from the Royal Guard website.
Iñaki Urdangarin told a judge over the weekend that the neither the Royal Household nor his wife, Infanta Cristina, were involved in his controversial business dealings.
Urdangarin, who has been under investigation for corruption associated with a non-profit organization he once led, tried to distance the Royal Family from the scandal.
Urdangarin testified in Mallorca, where is has become persona non grata. Anti-monarchy protesters were outside the courtroom.
In a related matter, there is a growing split between the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and its Catalonian (PSC) counterpart. They are divided over a possible referendum on independence and, more recently, PSC chief Pere Navarro asking for the King’s abdication.
A small leftist party is asking the Royal Household to distance itself or confirm claims in El Mundo by German princess and King Juan Carlos confidante Corinna zu Sayn Wittgenstein that she tried to find Urdangarin a job and has helped Spain on sensitive missions.
Emails and new sworn testimony by Diego Torres, the former business associate of King Juan Carlos’ son-in-law Iñaki Urdangarin, is once again putting the Royal Family on the defensive, according to several media reports.
Torres says King Juan Carlos and his daughter Infanta Cristina, knew about Urdangarin’s business dealings, which are not the subject of a high profile corruption investigation.
While Urdangarin denies any wrongdoing blames Torres for any irregularities, especially with heir non-profit Nóos Institute, Torres is trying to turn the tables.
Like Infanta Cristina and Infanta Elena’s secretary, royal legal adviser José Manuel Romero, Count of Fontao, is denying claims that he was also involved in Urdangarin’s business web.
Instead Romero says that he advised that it was not accurate to call the Nóos Institute a non-profit. The Royal Household eventually told Urdangarin to distance himself from questionable schemes.
Emails also show that German noble Corinna Sayn-Wittgenstein, a close friend of King Juan Carlos, tried to help Urdangarin land a well-paid job.
Today King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia and Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia lunched with Guatemalan President Otto Fernando Pérez Molina and his wife at the Royal Palace in Madrid.
President Pérez Molina also visited the King at Zarzuela Palace.
Yesterday King Juan Carlos and Prince Felipe met with former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, Ibero-American Secretary General Enrique Iglesias and former Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa Cantellano.
They spoke about improving the regular Ibero-American summits.
Earlier this week King Juan Carlos presided over the Basketball King’s Cup held in the Basque Country, where the Barcelona team emerged victorious.
A new book by reporters for Spanish newspaper El Mundo is shedding some light into events that supposedly led to the ongoing corruption investigation against the King’s son-in law Iñaki Urdangarín.
The tome says that Urdangarin saw himself in financial trouble after buying what is often called a small palace in the exclusive Pedralbes area of Barcelona.
The book says that King Juan Carlos was upset at Urdangarin’s previous living arrangements with Infanta Cristina. Don Juan Carlos, it says, said his daughter was used to living in a palace and not a small apartment.
Also included is a story about Prince Felipe getting into an argument with Urdangarin over money. The reporters say the Prince was unhappy with his brother-in-law asking for help to pay for his expenses.
Adding to the drama, the book says that Urdangarin blamed Princess Letizia, a former journalist, for orchestrating at least some of his public troubles.
The Royal Household maintains that it told Urdangarin to give up his business dealings years ago.