King Touts Spanish Grand Pact Amid Catalan Troubles

King Felipe touted Spain’s constitutional “grand pact” of national unity amid separatist sentiments in Catalonia.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey
© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Don Felipe said the Spanish constitution is a “grand pact that defends, preserves and embraces the rights and liberties of citizens.”

The King also said the 1978 document “defends the communities of Spain in the exercise of its diverse cultures and traditions, languages and institutions, and consecrates the liberty, justice, equality and political pluralism as essential values of our coexistence.”

His Majesty also spoke about Spain’s commitment to European integration and said he felt “profoundly European.”

© Casa de S.M. el Rey
© Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe also met with French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who have expressed solidarity with a united Spain and suggested opposition to Catalan nationalism.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey
© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Several anti-monarchist European Parliament members held signs and republican flags during His Majesty’s speech.

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Royal Cousin Dies

Infante Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies has died, Spanish newspaper El Mundo is reporting.

Don Carlos, head of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, is a cousin of King Juan Carlos, who granted him the title if “infante” in 1994. The title is similar to that of prince.

Don Carlos’ daughter is said to be good friends with King Felipe and Queen Letizia.

King Felipe Touts Common Future

Amid ongoing separatist sentiments in Catalonia, King Felipe in recent days called for a “common future” in the neighboring region of Valencia.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey
© Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe, who presided over the Jaime I Awards, touted Spanish scientific research and also pressed for funding such endeavors.

The King said developments “make us count more on a common future.”

King Jaime I was king of Aragon and Count of Barcelona, and therefore ruler of Catalonia, during the 1200’s before the region became part of Spain.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey
© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Media outlets, including El País read into the King’s words amid budget cuts and social concerns in parts of the country, and King Jaime’s symbolism.

Queen Sofia Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize

A U.S. university has nominated Queen Sofia to receive the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, according to a Spanish scientist.

Jesús Ávila, scientific director for a neurological disease research foundation, made the comments during a gathering in the southern Spanish city of Málaga.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey
Mayor of Málaga welcomes Queen Sofia. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Backers point to Queen Sofia’s work for people with diseases or disabilities, including Alzheimer’s.

Spanish newspaper ABC noted that Queen Sofia’s father, King Paul of Greece, was also nominated for his role in helping end the Greek Civil War.

Former Spanish King Alfonso XIII, King Felipe’s great grandfather, was also a nominee. Neither won.

Queen Sofia celebrates guide dog foundation anniversary. © Casa de S.M. el Rey
Queen Sofia celebrates guide dog foundation anniversary. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Queen Sofia has led several charity or solidarity events in recent weeks, including some with her daughter-in-law, Queen Letizia.

Queen Sofia during a Red Cross fundraiser in Madrid. © Casa de S.M. el Rey
Queen Sofia during a Red Cross fundraiser in Madrid. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Queen Sofia remains very popular with Spaniards.