Royals Court Catalonia, Basque Country

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were in Barcelona today handing out Royal Dispatches to new judges.

Their very presence in Barcelona was of note because of the ongoing debate in Catalonia about independence.

The King, who recently returned from Saudi Arabia, greeted Catalan President Artur Mas cordially, even though Mas has been pushing for a referendum on independence.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos
King Juan Carlos greets Mas. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

During his remarks, King Juan Carlos touted “democratic coexistence, social peace and justice.” He also stressed the importance of Constitutional principles and rights.

Yesterday the King visited the Basque Country, another autonomous community known for pro-independence and republican rumblings.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos
His Majesty at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vitoria. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Earlier this week Prince Felipe visited Bilbao, the Basque Country’s largest city, to preside over an awards ceremony.

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

Spanish media reported a small Basque nationalist demonstration against the Royal Family and in favor of self determination.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos
Don Felipe meeting with Basque business leaders in Bizkaia. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Spain’s central government has resisted regional referendums on independence, calling them unconstitutional.

Separately, this week tax authorities accused the King’s son-in-law Iñaki Urdangarin, the Duke of Palma, of tax crimes.

Urdangarin has for years been under investigation for allegations that he used public money for personal gain.

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