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Archive for June, 2013

Queen Sofia visited resident and rescue workers in flood impacted areas of northeastern Spain last week.

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

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

The Queen is known for wanting to visit and comfort people affected by natural or manmade disasters.

In doing so, she’s following the reigning philosophy of her mother, Frederica of Hanover, Queen of Greece.

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

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

Meanwhile, in a gaggle with reporters during a military ceremony last week King Juan Carlos called liars those who say he’s ill.

He said his issues were simply a question of screws, meaning, small adjustments.

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

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

And Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia presided over an award ceremony and meeting of the leadership of the Prince of Girona Foundation.

As heirs to the Spanish throne, Their Royal Highnesses are not only the Prince and Princess of Asturias but also of Girona, with Don Felipe as heir to the thrown of Aragon.

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

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

Other titles used by the crown prince include Duke of Montblanc for Catalonia, Count of Cervera for Valencia, Lord of Balaguer for Mallorca and Prince of Viana for Navarre.

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Members of the Spanish Royal Family have been busy with agenda items over the past several weeks.

Today King Juan Carlos met with Paraguayan President-elect Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara at Zarzuela Palace in Madrid.

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

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

Last week, the King presided over a meeting of the permanent members of the Council of State, an advisory body.

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

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

On Friday Queen Sofia presided over a gala concert and gathering for mezzosoprano Teresa Berganza at the Royal Theater in Madrid, across the Plaza de Oriente from the Royal Palace.

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

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

And Prince Felipe recently presided over North Atlantic Treaty Organization military exercises in the Valencia region.

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

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

Members of the Royal Family will soon likely head to Marivent Palace in Mallorca for summer vacation.

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Members of the Royal Family, the King’s extended family and aides celebrated yesterday the 100th anniversary of the birth of Don Juan de Borbón, the Count of Barcelona.

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The Count of Barcelona, son of King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia, was technically next in line for the throne but never reigned.

Soon after dictator Francisco Franco picked King Juan Carlos as his successor, Don Juan resigned his dynastic rights in favor of his son, but only after knowing Spain would make a return to Democracy.

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King Juan Carlos and his family have a number of Royal Palaces, sites and homes at their disposition.

In practice, however, they only use a fraction of them on a regular basis, and mostly for official occasions. Below is a non-exhaustive list:

Photo by Manuel Quinones.

Photo by Manuel Quinones.

The Madrid Royal Palace, above, is the King’s official residence and site for the most important state gatherings.

It has a large dining room, numerous works of art, an armory with historic weapons belonging to members of the Royal Family, and the official Throne Room.

800px-El_escorial

Royal Site of San Lorenzo del Escorial.

The Royal Site of San Lorenzo del Escorial is a large palace and monastery in the Madrid region, which includes a tapestry museum, a library, a basilica and the official burial place for members of the Spanish Royal Family.

On the grounds is a small house called La Casita del Principe for the Prince of Asturias, the heir to the Spanish throne.

Nearby is the Valley of the Fallen, resting place for former Dictator Francisco Franco.

Prince Felipe and his wife Princess Letizia, however, currently live in a newly built small palace often called the Prince’s Pavilion, pictured below.

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The Prince’s house is a short drive from Zarzuela Palace, where King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia have lived for several decades.

Former Franco rehabilitated Zarzuela, an old royal hunting lodge, for the young couple. They moved in in shortly after their wedding in Athens, when their future as heirs to the Spanish throne was still uncertain.

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Welcoming guests at Zarzuela Palace.

The King and other members of the Royal Family often receive informal visits at Zarzuela, which is equipped with communications capabilities and contains Royal Household offices in support of the Monarch as the Head of State.

The King’s dispatch is at Zarzuela with his official Royal Standard flying above. Queen Sofia’s sister, Princess Irene of Greece, also lives on the site.

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The Zarzuela Palace, also outside of central Madrid, is in the grounds of El Pardo Palace, pictured above. Franco used to live at El Pardo, which now includes reception rooms and apartments for guests.

Most Royal Palaces and sites, which include monasteries and gardens, are owned by the state and run by Patrimonio Nacional or National Heritage.

Also in the Madrid region, but to the south, is the Royal Palace of Aranjuez, pictured below.

Palacio_Aranjuez

Several Royal sites are located in the Segovia area, north of Madrid.

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The Gardens of La Granja de San Idelfonso, above, extend more then 1,000 acres. The Riofrio Palace, below, was built for Queen Elisabeth Farnese in the 1700’s but has generally been barely used.

Picture_of_the_Palacio_Real_de_Riofrío_(4)

Also in Segovia is the Alcazar de Segovia, which was used by Queen Isabella of Castile. It is run by a patronage and one of several castles that were once royal homes are now museums.

Alcázar_de_segovia

The King’s official residence in Barcelona is owned by the local government. The same goes for the Royal Family’s summer residence in the Balearic Islands, Marivent Palace in Palma de Mallorca.

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama meeting with King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia at Marivent Palace. © Agencia EFE

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama meeting with King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia at Marivent Palace.
© Agencia EFE

However, they also use another site down the coast in Palma run by Patrimonio Nacional. Almudaina Palace, below, was once an Arab fort.

800px-Almudaina

Then there’s the Royal Residence at La Mareta in the Canary Islands. It was a gift of King Hussein of Jordan to King Juan Carlos.

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Price Naruhito, the heir to the Japanese Imperial Throne, met with Prince Felipe of Asturias today at El Pardo Palace in Madrid for a visit to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Hispano-Japanese relations.

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

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

Members of the Spanish Royal Family and members of the Japanese Imperial Family have traveled to each other’s country over the years.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia went on a state visit to Japan in 2008, for example. And Prince Naruhito went to Barcelona for the Olympics and to Madrid for Prince Felipe’s wedding to Princess Letizia in 2004.

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

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

Over the weekend Prince Felipe was in Paris to watch Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal win the French Open.

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Update

Members of the Royal Family also hosted a lunch for Prince Naruhito and a dinner at the Royal Palace. They also attended a gala at the Royal Theater.

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King Juan Carlos this weekend made his first public since his recent back operation.

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

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

His Majesty joined Queen Sofia, Prince Felipe and Princess Leizia at a downtown Madrid ceremony for Armed Forces Day and in remembrance of Spain’s fallen service members.

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

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

King Juan Carlos later hosted a lunch at Zarzuela Palace.

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