Busy New Year Agenda

King Felipe and Queen Letizia have held numerous public events in the weeks since launching their agenda for 2017.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe presided over a meeting of leaders of Spain’s autonomous communities, as seen above. The presidents of Catalonia and the Basque Country.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King met with the Archbishop of Madrid at Zarzuela Palace. Pope Francis recently announced that Carlos Osoro Sierra would be a cardinal.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King also received several ambassador credentials at the Royal Palace in Madrid.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Queen Letizia, among the events she has led, handed out the latest Premio Tomás Francisco Prieto Awards.


King Visits Saudi Arabia

King Felipe made an official visit to Saudi Arabia earlier this month to secure bilateral political and economic relations.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Don Felipe met with King Salman and numerous other Saudi leaders during his roughly two days in the country.

King Felipe having a working breakfast with Spanish business leaders. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe’s father, King Juan Carlos, made deep inroads in the Arab world to secure contracts for Spanish businesses.

Some critics, particularly on the left, criticized Don Felipe’s visit to the totalitarian regime.

King, Queen Launch 2017 Agenda

King Felipe and Queen Letizia launched their agenda for the new year with the deeply traditional “Pascua Militar” events at the Royal Palace in Madrid.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

During the ceremonies, the King meets with service members and addresses military leaders at the throne room.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Toward the end of the deeply traditional event, the crowd cheers for Spain and the King.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Since last week, the King and Queen have met with several groups and associations at Zarzuela Palace.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Today the King traveled to Portugal for the funeral of former President Mário Alberto Lopes Soares.

King Calls For Optimism, Slams Secession Movement

King Felipe dedicated his annual Christmas message to urging Spaniards to be more positive and resolute, and to work together toward a more prosperous future.

The King recognized country’s economic crisis and political difficulties, but also pleaded with Spaniards to focus on the nation’s growth and unity.

The King spoke from his office at Zarzuela Palace. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Don Felipe’s words were relatively forceful. “Intolerance and exclusion, the negation of the other or disrespect for another’s opinion, don’t fit in today’s Spain,” he said.

Like previous years, the King also alluded — albeit indirectly — to nationalist movements in Catalonia and the Basque Country.

“Breaking the norms that guarantee our democracy and liberty only leads to tensions and sterile clashes that don’t resolve anything, and to the moral and material worsening of the society,” he said.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Mainstream parties welcomed the King’s message. Populist party Podemos accused the monarch of not listening to his people.

Many Spaniards tend to be pessimistic about their country, even amid the recovery. Nationalist movements have also flared, particularly since the empire’s fall.

King Felipe — caretaker of the country’s unity, according to the constitution — has been using his bully pulpit to reverse those social trends.