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Archive for July, 2016

Felipe Juan Froilán de Todos los Santos de Marichalar y Borbón turned 18 over the weekend, the first of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia’s grandchildren to do so.

Froilán, as he is often called, is the son of Infanta Elena and King Felipe’s oldest nephew, and fourth in line to the Spanish throne.

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Froilán, far right, attending events connected with King Felipe’s proclamation in 2014. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

The Royal Family and King’s Family have been getting him ready for a more public role, but have also grumbled about his friends and life goals.

Froilán is said to be attending a military academy in Virginia. His father, aristocrat Jaime de Marichalar, got divorced from Infanta Elena in 2009.

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King Felipe and Queen Letizia visited the French ambassador to Spain last week following the terrorist attack in Nice to express their solidarity.

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Their Majesties with Ambassador Yves Saint-Geours. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Before visiting the ambassador, King Felipe sent French President Francois Hollande his condolences.

“We feel very close to the French people and we reaffirm out unity and commitment to continue fighting with determination against those who, in an inhuman way, threaten our values,” he wrote.

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U.S. President Obama traveled to Spain over the weekend. Spanish leaders and members of the Royal Family had been waiting for years for an official visit.

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King Felipe took the rare step of welcoming Obama after touchdown.

However, the president had to cut his trip short because of the recent shootings in Dallas. A planned stop in Seville and a meal at the Madrid Royal Palace were cancelled.

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Leaders from both countries gather at the Hall of Columns at the Madrid Royal Palace.

King Felipe gave the president a copy of Don Quixote signed by himself and Queen Letizia.

 

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Queen Letizia traveled to Paris last week to speak about the importance of acting to fight climate change during a conference there.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The conference was meant to complement the recent global climate accord. The Queen, who spoke in English, described health as a human right.

Separately, in recent days King Juan Carlos, Queen Letizia’s father-in-law, traveled to Argentina to celebrate that country’s bicentennial.

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King Juan Carlos with Argentine President Mauricio Macri.

Spain has been enjoying closer times with Argentine under its new government.

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King Felipe repeated his call for dialogue, understanding and coexistence when visiting the restive autonomous community of Catalonia.

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Their Majesties with Catalan President Carles Puidgemont. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Many Catalans have been calling for independence from Spain, particularly since the financial crisis and amid corruption scandals.

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“The young people who join us on stage know one cannot build a better world from egoism, fear or confrontation, and that the world of today requires collaboration and cooperation, learning to coexist, understand each other and respect each other, in increasingly diverse societies, more plural, more complex, less unanimous, but also more enriching,” the King said.

King Felipe spoke during the Princess of Girona Foundation Awards.

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The heiress to the Spanish throne, Princess Leonor, who is still too young to preside over such events, is not only Princess of Asturias, but also of Girona, among numerous other titles.

Girona is a city and province near the French border, and a hotbed of pro-independence sentiment.

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Queen Letizia welcomed U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama to Madrid last week.

Mrs. Obama was on a tour of several countries to promote her Let Girls Learn initiative.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Queen Letizia, who has met Mrs. Obama several times before, spoke at the event, and then welcomed the first lady at the Zarzuela Palace complex.

It is notable that Queen Letizia did not take Mrs.Obama to the more formal areas of the sprawling complex.

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Instead, the two walked the gardens of the secluded residence where the Queen and King Felipe live.

The Obamas are scheduled to visit Spain in the coming weeks.

 

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