King Addresses Military Leaders

King Felipe addressed Spanish military leaders at the Madrid Royal Palace throne room yesterday for the first major royal event of the year.

The so-called Pascua Militar takes place on Epiphany and is meant to commemorate the armed forces and address Spain’s defense needs.

The King said the military remained committed to defending the Constitution and the country’s interests.

King Charles III started the Pascual Militar in the 1700’s. King Juan Carlos resurrected the tradition when he became king.

King Says Catalonia Top Concern In Christmas Address

King Felipe this evening made his latest call for coexistence and understanding among Spaniards.

His Majesty delivered his annual Christmas Eve address, in which he called the economy and the Catalan crisis top concerns.

“We don’t live in easy times,” said His Majesty, calling for “firm confidence in ourselves and in Spain.”

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Spanish Royal Household

Don Felipe also said growing economic inequality and those left behind by economic growth and technology were a “principal concern.”

But like many previous remarks, the speech was focused on pushing an image of Spain as “very open to the world” and of “tolerance and respect.”

King Felipe also alluded to the ongoing efforts by acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to form a new government.

King Launches Meetings On New Government

King Felipe today launched talks with Spanish political leaders ahead of proposing a candidate for prime minister.

The King today met with the heads of the Congress of the Deputies and the Senate. Meetings with party leaders are next week.

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King Felipe with Congress President Meritxell Batet at Zarzuela Palace. Spanish Royal Household

After the meetings, the King will likely tap the Socialist Party leader to form a government.

Even though Pedro Sánchez’s group got the most votes in the recent elections, he needs to form coalitions to govern.

King, Queen Give Trump Opponents Warm Welcome

King Felipe and Queen Letizia reserved a particularly warm welcome this week to U.S. Democrats participating in the Madrid international climate conference.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several of her colleagues were in the Spanish capital to challenge President Trump’s opposition to the Paris climate accord.

King Felipe used one of his few delegation meetings to gather with the Democrats at Zarzuela Palace.

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Spanish Royal Household

On Monday the King held a reception at the Royal Palace in Madrid for the delegations. Pelosi was also there.

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Spanish Royal Household

Spain is a fierce defender of climate action and Democrats have since boasted about how well they were received at the conference.

King Greets World Leaders For Climate Conference

King Felipe and Queen Letizia welcomed dozens of diplomats and world leaders in Madrid today for this year’s United Nations climate conference.

The King hosted a reception and delivered remarks at the Madrid Royal Palace’s Hall of Columns, which is reserved for deeply important events.

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Spanish Royal Household

Among the King’s guests was U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The royals greeted her warmly.

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Spanish Royal Household

The King is also set to attend the conference’s closing ceremonies later this month.

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.

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Spanish Royal Household

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

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Spanish Royal Household

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

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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.

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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.

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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.