Royals Host Scaled-Back Awards Ceremony

King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia hosted the Princess of Asturias Awards on Friday in a scaled-back ceremony because of the pandemic.

The awards, named for the heir to the Spanish throne, are one of the most impotant events in the royal calendar every year. Princes Leonor is the Princess of Asturias.

Queen Sofia usually attends the awards and was on hand during this weekend’s festivities at the Hotel de la Reconquista in the Spanish community of Asturias.

Queen Sofia, Princess Leonor, King Felipe, Queen Letizia and Infanta Sofia. Spanish Royal Household

Among the winners this year were the men and women who collectively responded to the coronavirus pandemic.

King Felipe during his remarks. Spanish Royal Household

Royals then visited the Asturian town of Somao to award the community for its efforts at promoting progress and coexistence.

Royals Celebrate National Day

King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia presided over the annual Fiesta Nacional commemoration in Madrid today.

However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the National Day celebration was scaled down significantly. Instead of a parade through Madrid’s main avenues, the Royal Family reviewed Spanish forces at the Royal Palace.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez was on hand for the celebrations, which included military jets flying over the palace and the city.

Note Princess Leonor, to the left above, wearing a pin for the Order of the Golden Fleece. She joined the order in preparation to assume the duties of heir to the throne.

Other recent activity

The King in recent days made a much anticipated visit to Barcelona with the prime minister for an economic awards ceremony.

His Majesty opened the academic year for the Royal Academies during a visit to the Royal Spanish Academy on Oct. 7.

A day earlier, on Oct. 6, the King and Queen led a meeting of the Cervantes Institute leadership at the Royal Palace of El Pardo.

Earlier in the month, King Felipe met with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa during an event in Galicia on trans-Atlantic dialogue.

King To Visit Barcelona After Government Blockade

King Felipe and Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will visit Barcelona together in the coming days, just weeks after the premier blocked His Majesty from visiting the city.

The government’s decision to prevent the King from visiting Barcelona recently set of a firestorm. Monarchists accused the government of giving in to Catalan nationalists and left-wing radicals.

Those left-wingers, in turn, accused the King of using his voice to lobby against Spain’s elected government. That’s because Don Felipe had expressed his desire to visit Barcelona for a juidicial promotions ceremony.

King Felipe accepting credentials from new ambassadors at the Royal Palace in Madrid. Spanish Royal Household

The government said it didn’t want King Felipe’s presence to coincide with a ruling against former Catalan President Quim Torra. Such a ruling did happen and a government spokeswoman — following days of back and forth — said the King respects Constitutional norms.

Some news outlets are describing the coming visit as an about face or course correction from the government.