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Archive for September, 2015

Members of the Spanish Royal Family have been continuing business as usual during this weekend’s landmark vote in Catalonia, where pro-independence parties won a majority of seats in parliament but not a majority of votes cast.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe was back in the U.S. this week to attend the Pope’s speech at the United Nations. His Majesty also addressed the General Assembly, focusing on sustainable growth.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe with King Abdullah of Jordan. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Years ago, when Catalan President Artur Mas first started flirting with joining the pro-independence movement, King Juan Carlos said it was not the time for chimeras.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia during the national anthem at the Royal Theater in Madrid last week. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe and Queen Letizia during the national anthem at the Royal Theater in Madrid last week. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Now, King Felipe has called for national unity and respect for the rule of law, but has stayed away from the acrimonious campaign process.

Even though the King has high approval ratings around Spain, many pro-independence politicians in Catalonia are openly hostile to the monarchy.

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King Felipe and Queen Letizia began their first official U.S. visit as Spanish monarchs in Washington, D.C.

Their Majesties left their downtown hotel early this morning bound for George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate.

© Manuel Quinones.

© Manuel Quinones.

At Mount Vernon, they visited Washington’s tomb and gave curators a copy of the first American ambassador to Spain’s credentials, signed by the first president.

Their Majesties then went to the White House to visit President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The president said during brief remarks, “The Spanish people have hosted my family. I hope that I can travel to Spain before the end of my presidency. There’s no country that I’d enjoy more for a visit.”

The Spanish government has long been asking President Obama to visit the country.

“We are deeply committed to maintaining a relationship with a strong and unified Spain,” said the president, making a veiled reference to separatist sentiments in Catalonia.

The King said, “I follow in the footsteps of my father. He’s had a longstanding relationship with many Presidents of the United States.”

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Mrs. Obama took the Queen on a tour of the White House garden. Today was The Queen’s birthday.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King and Queen then drive to Capitol Hill to meet with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Staffers there commented on the King’s height and the Queen’s beauty and impeccable outfit.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Queen Letizia had changed into an evening outfit for a reception with the Spanish community in Washington, including famed chef José Andrés.

The next morning King Felipe met with U.S. business leaders at the Spanish ambassador’s residence. He asked them to trust Spanish stability and economic growth.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Don Felipe then spoke about transatlantic relations at the Wilson Center while Queen Letizia visited the National Institutes of Health.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The Washington visit ended with a meeting at Georgetown University, Don Felipe’s alma mater, Spanish scientists, and a dinner.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

They King and Queen took some time to greet workers and students who were gathered on campus.

On Thursday, the royal couple flew to Miami for a conference on Spanish in the U.S., and a Spanish film festival.

On Friday the trip ends in St. Augustine, where Their Majesties will mark the 450th anniversary of the former Spanish city.

They will give Ford Motor Co. CEO the Bernardo de Gálvez award. named for a Spanish colonial leader who helped the U.S. gain independence from Britain.

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The AFD Group, a company of Russian doll-makers, recently unveiled one of Queen Letizia.

The company, which has made dolls of numerous celebrities and public figures, displayed their creation during a gathering in Spain this weekend.

Photo courtesy AFD Group.

Photo courtesy AFD Group.

The doll captures the Queen’s look during events surrounding the wedding of Prince William and Katherine Middleton in London.

News outlets around the world have reported on the doll, and also noted that it will not be for sale.

Back to school

Separately, last week King Felipe and Queen Letizia drove their daughters, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia, to their first day of school after summer break.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe at the Palace of Justice in Madrid for the opening of the judicial year. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Their Majesties have been busy with appearances ahead of a planned visit to the U.S. starting tomorrow.

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King Felipe and Queen Letizia have returned from vacation and retaken the royal agenda with a roster of meetings at Zarzuela Palace.

The press noted the King had shaved his beard. The cultural industry asked for help lowering taxes.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe and Queen Sofia leading an audience at Zarzuela Palace. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe and Queen Letizia are scheduled to make a trip to the U.S. in the coming days. A meeting with President Obama is on the schedule.

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King Juan Carlos phoned in to Spanish radio station Cadena Cope for a brief interview in recent days.

The interview was notable because members of the Royal Family don’t often grant formal interviews.

King Juan Carlos leading a meeting at the Royal Palace in Madrid. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Juan Carlos leading a meeting at the Royal Palace in Madrid. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Don Juan Carlos did not make much news, according to media outlets. His Majesty did say his son, King Felipe, had earned the respect of Spaniards.

King Juan Carlos also said he was getting used to a more quiet life, but said he remained open to serving Spain under his son’s leadership.

King Juan Carlos at Spanish Armada Headquarters. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Juan Carlos at Spanish Armada Headquarters. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Separately, a French television station is getting ready to air a documentary on King Juan Carlos produced with Televisión Española.

TVE, however, had declined to air the production in Spain, calling it outdated because of King Juan Carlos’ abdication.

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