Queen Sofia Back On The Agenda

Queen Sofia was back on the Royal Family’s public agenda this month.

King Felipe’s mother handed poet and architect Joan Margarit the Queen Sofia Prize in Iberoamerican Poetry during an event at the Royal Palace in Madrid.

Spanish Royal Household

Her Majesty also this month attended ceremonies to commemorate the anniversary of the charity group Manos Unidas or United Hands.

Spanish Royal Household

Earlier in the month, Queen Sofia attended a conference against Alzheimer’s disease.

Spanish Royal Household

The Royal Household has reduced Queen Sofia’s public events ever since her husband abdicated the throne. Their goal is to shine the spotlight on the new king and queen.

However, unlike her husband, who recently retired from public life, Queen Sofia has vowed to continue leading her foundation and championing pet projects.


King Makes Call For Cuban Democracy, Human Rights

King Felipe called for democracy and the protection on human rights this week during a state visit to Cuba.

His Majesty made his comments during a dinner offered by the Spanish during the historic royal visit.

Spanish Royal Household

The King met this week with Cuban leaders, Spaniards living on the island, diplomats and business leaders. They toured Havana neighborhoods on foot.

Don Felipe also had a private session with former Cuban President Raúl Castro, brother of the late Fidel Castro.

The King and Queen at the former Palace of Spanish Captains General in Havana. They are looking at a portrait of young King Alfonso XIII and his mother, Queen Regent Maria Cristina. They are King Felipe’s great grandfather and great great grandmother. Spanish Royal Household

The royal visit was the first by a Spanish monarch to the former colony in five centuries.

Their Majesties are now in Washington, D.C., for a private visit for the anniversary of Georgetown University’s foreign affairs school.

King, Queen Leave For Cuba

King Felipe and Queen Letizia today left Madrid for their official visit to Cuba to celebrate Havana’s 500th anniversary.

Their Majesties boarded their jet after a departure ceremony at the Terminal of State at Barajas Airport. Such ceremonies are standard for official visits abroad.

Spanish Royal Household

Media outlets are describing the trip as historic and a sign of closer relations between the world and Cuba.

However, news that Their Majesties will not meet with dissidents has generated concern among human rights advocates.

Spain and its companies have long had a presence in Cuba. King Juan Carlos, King Felipe’s father, has been to Cuba twice in recent years, including for former leader Fidel Castro’s funeral.

Royals Defy Barcelona Protests

Spain’s Royal Family was in Barcelona this week for public events despite strong protests from Catalan separatists.

King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia were in the city to hand out the Princess of Girona Awards.

The King suggested his very presence in the city would send a message. He said intolerance and violence had no place in Catalonia.

Spanish Royal Household

The King’s daughter, Princess Leonor, who is Princess of Girona, said she was proud to hold the title. She spoke at length in Catalan.

Spanish Royal Household

Pro-independence leaders tried to convince electoral authorities to keep the Royal Family away because of the upcoming national voting. They accuse the King of not being an impartial broker.

Several police forces have converged in Barcelona for the royal visit and the upcoming elections.

As heir to the Spanish throne, Princess Leonor holds several titles, including Princess of Asturias and of Girona.