Royals Woo Catalonia (Updated)

Amid pro-independence rumblings in the Spanish Autonomous Community of Catalonia, Prince Felipe of Asturias over the weekend presided over a dinner with business and regional leaders at Albéniz Palace in Barcelona, the King’s official residence in the city.

© Casa de S.M. el rey / Borja Fotógrafos
At Albéniz Palace, royal residence owned by the Catalan government.
© Casa de S.M. el rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Prince Felipe, who was in town for the eve of the 2014 Mobile World Congress, alluded to Catalonia’s importance within Spain.

He spoke of Barcelona as the “beloved and dynamic capital of Catalonia,” and made remarks in Spanish, English and Catalan.

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

His Royal Highness also met with Catalan President Artur Mas, who is calling for a referendum on independence and, during his own remarks, highlighted Catalonia’s own strengths.

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

On Monday Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia walked the convention floor. One of their meetings was with Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg.

Things got tougher later in the week when a Catalan businessman refused to shake the Prince’s hand.

Don Felipe pressed the issue with Alex Fenoll, who kept refusing. A video of the incident has gone viral.

Media reports also indicate that other business leaders in Catalonia expressed concerns about the lack of dialogue between Barcelona and Madrid during what has become a political stalemate.

Other Agenda Items

Among numerous royal agenda items in recent weeks, today Queen Sofia visited the Spanish National Ballet and the National Dance Company. Her Majesty is known for her attachment to classical arts.

Earlier this month King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were in Portugal meeting with Portuguese and Italian leaders in Lisbon to promote regional economic development.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia with Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva, su esposa, Maria Alves da Silva, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and their wives. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos
King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia with Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, and their wives.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s