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Archive for June, 2015

King Felipe and Queen Letizia last week celebrated one year on the Spanish throne with low-key public events and sky high approval ratings.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Their Majesties had lunch at the Royal Palace along with King Juan Carlos and Queen Felipe and top government representatives.

Don Juan Carlos abdicated last year, at least in part, to help restore public support to the Crown amid a tough economy and other controversies.

New polls show his son, King Felipe, with more than 80 percent support among Spaniards. Queen Letizia is also held in high esteem with more than 70 percent approval.

While granting Order of Civil Merit Awards to people who have served the State, King Felipe reiterated the Crown’s commitment to the country.

Don Felipe said it has a been a year “that has opened a new era in the parliamentary monarchy” meeting the demands of the 21st Century.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

U.S. Visit

King Felipe and Queen Letizia are scheduled to make a U.S. trip in September to highlight relations and Spain’s importance in American history.

Their Majesties are also expected to visit President Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C. And the King is set to speak at Georgetown University, where he studied international relations.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

King, Queen meeting with Spanish Grandees (high nobles). © Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Juan Carlos visited President Obama in the White House several years ago. First Lady Michelle Obama visited the Royals in Spain also in recent years.

King Felipe coincided with President Obama during an overseas trip, but the president has not accepted Spanish invitations to a state visit in Madrid.

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Queen Letizia yesterday became the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization’s first nutrition special ambassador.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Her Majesty attended a Rome ceremony yesterday marking the appointment.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The Queen, a strong public speaker, said it was intolerable for so many people to go hungry while the planet produced more than it consumed.

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King Felipe last week stripped his sister Infanta Cristina of her Duchess of Palma title because of the corruption scandal embroiling her and her husband.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe arriving at the Royal Cavalry Armory in Seville. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Juan Carlos made infanta Cristina a duchess when she married Iñaki Urdangarin. But authorities accuse Urdangarin of using a non-profit company for personal gain. And the Infanta has stood by her husband.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The Royal Household under Don Juan Carlos had already stripped the couple of royal duties and had urged Infanta Cristina to renounce her dynastic rights. She has refused.

Inaki-Urdangarin-infanta-Cristina

Infanta Cristina and her husband.

Events have moved fast. Infanta Cristina was in Spain recently with the rest of her family for Prince Kardam’s funeral.

King Juan Carlos during an international business promotion meeting in Madrid.  © Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Juan Carlos during an international business promotion meeting in Madrid.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey

However, now the dispute is over whether the King stripped Infanta Cristina of her title or she resigned it. She sent him a letter doing so at around the same time.

Queen Sofia heading a meeting on mental health. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Queen Sofia heading a meeting on mental health.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Infanta Cristina is now living and working in Geneva. Her mother, Queen Sofia, serves as a bridge between family members.

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King Felipe and Queen Letizia arrived in France today for a three day state visit.

Their Majesties called off an earlier trip after a German airliner traveling from Spain crashed in France.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King and Queen are meeting with French President Francois Hollande and a roster of other French officials, plus industry leaders and Spaniards living in France.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Today Their Majesties visited the Arch of Triumph in Paris, the French Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Elysee Palace and an exhibit of Spanish art.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe also helped honor French workers who responded to the airplane crash, plus met with the head of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Abdication Anniversary

The King and Queen’s trip to France coincided with the one year anniversary of King Juan Carlos’ abdication announcement.

Don Juan Carlos continues making public appearances, but much fewer. He was recently at a a bullfight in Madrid.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

His wife, Queen Sofia, also continues to make frequent public appearances, including helping inaugurate a facility for the disabled.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Their daughter, Infanta Elena, was also at a bullfight this week.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Infanta Cristina, who may go to trial for corruption allegations tied to her husband’s business dealings, remains off the Royal agenda.

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Spanish monarchists and establishment political figures gasped when football fans whistled during the the national anthem, the Royal March, at this weekend’s King’s Cup final game.

Critics said the whistling, with King Felipe in attendance, was a sign of deep disrespect. Some suggested punishing teams with fans misbehaving.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe with Catalan President Artur Mas to his right. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Other political figures, including heads of the Basque and Catalan governments, which tend to be wary of the national government, said any punishment would just boomerang.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Whistling is not uncommon at games and other events, especially amid Spanish discontent over corruption scandals and the economy.

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