Queen Calls For Better, Fairer Country

Queen Letizia today called for progress toward a better, fairer Spain during remarks in Valencia.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The Queen represented the Crown during the Rey Jaime I award in the community of Lonja de los Mercaderes.

Her husband, King Felipe, is said to have cleared his schedule once again to attend to the crisis in Catalonia.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The Queen praised the award recipients and said that with learning and innovation “we will continue growing as a country toward a better and more just Spain.”



King Dismisses Catalan Secession, Again

King Felipe once again criticized ongoing secessionist tensions in the autonomous region of Catalonia.

King Felipe with Queen Sofia and Queen Letizia. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Last night the King, speaking during the Princess of Asturias awards ceremony in the Spanish Principality of Asturias, said his nation would respond to the pro-independence threat within the constitution.

King Felipe during his remarks. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Kind Felipe gave one of the awards to European Union leaders and said Spaniards were proud of their commitment to Europe and Democracy.

His Majesty said Catalonia would continue being an essential part of Spain into the 21st Century.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia among other dignitaries. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

This morning the Spanish government took steps to take over parts of Catalan autonomy and call new elections within six months.

The Catalan leadership recently held an illegal pro-independence referendum and came close to seceding.

The vast majority of people who voted agreed with independence, but fewer than half of eligible voters went to the polls.

The Princess of Asturias is the King and Queen’s daughter, and heir to the Spanish throne. She was not at the ceremonies, which typically stretch over three days.

The Queen is due in Geneva in the coming days for a meeting at the World Health Organization.

Royals Retake Agenda

King Felipe and Queen Letizia have retaken their agenda amid the ongoing separatist crisis in Catalonia.

The King and Queen dramatically scaled back their events in recent weeks to deal with pressing issues.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

This week, however, Their Majesties held several audiences at Zarzuela Palace.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King and Queen are set to preside over the Princess of Asturias Awards and related ceremonies starting this evening.

King Celebrates Spain Amid Unrest

Members of the Spanish Royal Family presided over National Day festivities in Madrid this week amid the ongoing constitutional crisis.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

With the Catalan government threatening independence, attendance was up at the Fiesta Nacional military parade.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The Ministry of Defense and other government organizers moved the event north to accommodate more spectators.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King held a brief reception at the Royal Palace after the parade. He has otherwise cleared his agenda to deal with the crisis.

The day was not a total success. One of the fighter jets that participated in the pageantry crashed and the pilot died.

King Slams Catalonia Defiance

King Felipe this evening delivered a rare and fiery speech against the Catalan government’s move toward independence from Spain.

The King, who spoke from Zarzuela Palace, called this week’s illegal pro-independence referendum and other developments a threat to “national sovereignty.”

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Catalan leaders have been pushing for a legal referendum for years, something the central government has rejected, fearing many people will use the occasion to cast a protest vote over economic and other grievances.

The Catalan leadership is now threatening to declare independence even though polls show most Catalans don’t support the move.

Don Felipe is calling their actions “unacceptable disloyalty,” and against Democracy and the rule of law, reiterating constitutional protections and Catalonia’s Statute of Autonomy.

The King’s speech is almost unprecedented. His father, King Juan Carlos, delivered major messages during his abdication and during an attempted coup in the early 1980’s.

King Juan Carlos in 1981.

Left wing and pro-independence parties slammed the speech for not focusing enough on dialogue. The King, however, has pressed for dialogue numerous times before.

“These moments are hard but we will overcome,” said the King, stressing Catalonia would continue being Spanish.

He said the Crown would continue standing by Democracy and the Constitution, and the “unity and permanence of Spain.”