Prince, Princess Attend ‘Coronation’

Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia were among many royals in the Netherlands today for the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander, after the abdication of her mother Queen Beatrix.

Like in Spain, the ceremony is technically not a coronation, as the monarch appears near the Royal Crown but doesn’t actually wear it.

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Princess Letizia wore one of the family’s tiara’s for a dinner last night.

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King Juan Carlos also continues increasing his public appearances. A few days ago he met at Zarzuela Palace with Jordan’s King Abdullah.

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

 

King Juan Carlos Is Back

King Juan Carlos is back in public view after weeks of recovery from a back operation.

Earlier this week the King and Queen Sofia received the 2012 winner of the prestigious Cervantes Prize José Manuel Caballero Bonald at Zarzuela Palace.

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

Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia hosted a dinner in Caballero’s honor and presented him with the award yesterday.

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Yesterday King Juan Carlos met with Robert Fico, the Prime Minister of Slovakia.

Controversy Continues

Amid the ongoing corruption controversy surrounding his son-in-law, the King has agreed to even more transparency of Royal Household spending.

Don Juan Carlos will also provide details about his inheritance.

Prince Felipe Skipping Venezuelan Inauguration

Prince Felipe, who usually attends inauguration ceremonies for Latin American leaders, will skip the one for Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela.

News reports indicate that the Spanish government wants to keep the Prince away from the ongoing controversy over the election to replace the late Hugo Chavez as President.

Prince Felipe speaking at a German-Spanish Forum, where he called for greater solidarity in solving current problems.
Prince Felipe speaking at a German-Spanish Forum, where he called for greater solidarity in solving current problems.

Prince Felipe did attend the funeral for Chavez, which had him sitting near Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Today former Madrid Community President Esperanza Aguirre attended the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Aguirre is Countess of Murillo, a Grandee of Spain and also Honorary Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Crowd For Prince Felipe In Catalonia; Princess Letizia In Geneva

A crowd welcomed Prince Felipe in Catalonia last week, when he visited hydro electrical facilities in the shadow of the Pyrenees mountains.

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

News outlets also noted a crowd of anti Monarchist, pro-Catalonian protesters.

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

Also last week, Princess Letizia visited the World Health Organization in Geneva to learn more about the organization and its goals.

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

This weekend Madrid was host to an anti-Monarchy, pro-Republic demonstration. Boosters are hoping the King’s recent troubles will help overturn the country’s current political system.

Queen Sofia Back In Africa

Queen Sofia arrived in Mozambique yesterday for her 6th cooperation trip to Africa.

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

She brought with her medical and nutrition supplies donated in part by the Queen Sofia Foundation.

Her Majesty is also set to visit projects funded by the Spanish international cooperation and development agency.

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

Queen Sofia is scheduled to meet with Spanish residents in Mozambique and stay in the country until Thursday.

Duke To Qatar; King’s Popularity Falls

Duke of Palma and King Juan Carlos’ son-in-law Iñaki Urdangarin is finalizing an arrangement that could soon take him to work for the Qatari handball team, El País reported today.

Investigators are pursuing a possible corruption case against Urdangarin, once an Olympic handball star, but he is under no obligation to stay in Spain while it continues.

Urdangarin and his wife, Infanta Cristina, have largely been sidelined from official royal engagements.

Infanta Cristina and her children would join Urdangarin, media reports say.
Infanta Cristina and her children would join Urdangarin, media reports say.

Meanwhile, El País is also reporting on the King’s plummeting poll numbers amid several controversies and his health problems, which have kept him away from public view.

His popularity has taken a hit even compared with other members of the Royal Family, like Queen Sofia or Prince Felipe, who have been making frequent appearances.

King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia.
King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia.

Analysts note that young people especially are largely unaware of Don Juan Carlos’ role in bringing democracy to Spain and putting down an attempted coup in the early 1980’s.

Newspaper El Mundo has been reporting about the King’s inheritance and his friend Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein’s activities on behalf of the Spanish government, including in the Arab world.

Leftist parties are demanding more transparency from the Royal Household, which has agreed to be part of a new openness law, albeit in a limited fashion.

Spanish royals already disclose their salary, taxes and other expenses. They will now also increase disclosure on trips and meetings.

Socialists are asking for the Royal Family’s personal finances to be public, as well.

Madrid Royal Palace.
Madrid Royal Palace.

Today Spanish Government President Mariano Rajoy defended the Crown as an important part of Spanish unity. The Socialist party is also officially in favor of keeping the Crown.

UPDATE: News reports indicate that King Juan Carlos has spoken to his friend the Emir of Qatar, but about business issues and not about Urdangarin.

Prince Felipe Celebrates Justice

Prince Felipe celebrated justice and the judicial profession in Spain one day after a judge named his sister as a suspect in a corruption probe.

Prince Felipe made remarks celebrating judicial “independence, impartiality and respect for laws” during a ceremony welcoming new judges in Barcelona today.

Prince Felipe with Catalan President Artur Mas to his left and Spanish Government Vice President Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría to his right.
Prince Felipe with Catalan President Artur Mas to his left and Spanish Government Vice President Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría to his right.

Prosecutors are appealing the judges decision to subpoena Infanta Cristina in the case involving her husband.

Prince Felipe today also met with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at El Pardo Palace outside Madrid.

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Infanta Cristina Now A Suspect In Corruption Probe

Balearic Islands Judge José Castro has named King Juan Carlos’ daughter Infanta Cristina in a corruption probe surrounding her husband Iñaki Urdangarin.

Infanta Cristina, center, at a Red Cross event.
Infanta Cristina, center, at a Red Cross event.

Urdangarin is under investigation for allegedly using a non-profit company to funnel public funds for private gain.

Former associate Diego Torres has handed over documents in an attempt to tie other members of the Royal Family in the scandal.

The Royal Household — which expressed surprise at the news — has denied wrongdoing and King Juan Carlos years ago told Urdangarin to give up questionable business dealings.

Today Queen Sofia handed out awards to encourage greater access for people with disabilities.

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

Prince Felipe visited a new energy facility in the Basque Country.

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

Infanta Cristina is the first member of the nuclear Royal Family to ever be called before a judge as a suspect.

Does The King Owe Taxes?

The Royal Household is looking into claims that King Juan Carlos may owe taxes from the money his father left him, El Mundo and other news outlets are reporting.

Opposition parties are asking for information about three Swiss bank accounts that news accounts say belonged to Don Juan de Borbón y Battenberg, the Count of Barcelona.

He is said to have left his son about 375 million Spanish pesetas, the currency before the Euro.

King Juan Carlos' father, the Count of Barcelona, resigns any claims to the throne, allowing his son to follow Gen. Franco as Head of State. The King's mother Princess María de las Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies in yellow. © Agencia EFE
King Juan Carlos’ father, the Count of Barcelona, resigns any claims to the throne, allowing his son to follow Gen. Franco as Head of State. The King’s mother Princess María de las Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies in yellow.
© Agencia EFE

Don Juan died on April 1st 20 years ago. Members of the Royal Family will soon gather to honor his memory.

In the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth decided in the early 1990’s to voluntarily pay taxes.