King Felipe and Queen Letizia this month led the country’s second state ceremony for victims of the COVID-19 pandemic and those continuing to suffer and sacrifice because of the disease.
Their Majesties presided over the ceremony at the Madrid Royal Palace and awarded four posthumous Grand Crosses of Civil Merit to health workers who died caring for pandemic patients.
Members of Spain’s Royal Family have been active in response to the pandemic following concern King Felipe had been to slow to speak about the crisis. He first delivered televised remarks to the nation in mid-March 2020.
Members of the Spanish Royal Family were in Barcelona earlier this month to hand out the Princess of Girona Foundation Awards to leaders in different fields, like science and business.
The heir to the Spanish throne, Princess Leonor, is not only princess of Asturias but also of Girona. The Principality of Asturias historically belong to the heir to the Castilian throne while the Principality of Girona belonged to the heir of the Aragonese throne. Modern Spain includes both kingdoms.
The princess, who is 15 and still preparing for official duties, delivered remarks in Catalan because of her presence in the capital of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia. Girona is also an important Catalan city.
Catalan nationalist leaders have avoided members of the Royal Family since forming a coalition government earlier this year. They also skipped King Felipe’s visit for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, including a lunch at Albéniz Palace.
Also in recent days, King Felipe and Queen Letizia held a ceremony at the Madrid Royal Palace for United Nations Secretary General António Guterres. His Majesty offered some words in Portuguese.
King Felipe presided over the 27th Ibero-American Summit, which took place in the Principality of Andorra this week.
This year’s theme focused on innovation toward sustainable development. The summit also tried to create a united front for fighting the pandemic.
Members of the Organization of Ibero-American States — of which King Felipe is the honorary head — regularly attend the conference. The group is generally made up of Spain, Portugal and their former colonies, among other participants.
This year’s summit was notable for its absences because of the pandemic. It was also a one day event, unlike previous years.
His Majesty held one-on-one meetings with several leaders attending the summit, including gatherings in Spain ahead of the Andorra meeting.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia made a state visit to Andorra — the first for a Spanish monarch — earlier this year. The country is a co-principality. One of its heads of state is the president of France. The other is the bishop of Urgell, which covers Andorra and parts of Spain.