Royals Welcome Portuguese, Estonian Leaders

King Felipe and Queen Letizia welcomed Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa during a visit to Madrid last week.

Don Felipe held a reception with the president and other members of the Portuguese delegation at the Madrid Royal Palace. The ceremonies were not at the level of a state visit, but Spain and Portugal are generous when welcoming each other’s leaders, even for brief stops.

Spanish Royal Household

King Felipe and Queen Letizia also welcomed de Sousa for a private dinner at their unofficial residence at Zarzuela Palace in Madrid’s outskirts.

Spanish Royal Household

Earlier this month King Felipe had a work meeting with Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid at Zarzuela Palace.

Spanish Royal Household

King Felipe also met in recent days with Ibero-American Secretary General Rebeca Grynspan.

Royals Honor Terror Victims

King Felipe and Queen Letizia led events in Madrid last week to honor victims of terrorism in Spain and around the world.

Their Majesties and top government officials gathered in the gardens of the Madrid Royal Palace for an official commemoration.

King Felipe during his remarks. Spanish Royal Household

King Felipe and Queen Letizia also attended a concert to honor victims art the National Music Auditorium.

Spanish Royal Household

Spain has a long history with terrorism. Before the 2017 Barcelona attack and 2004 train bombings, Basque separatists killed numerous people in acts of terror.

King Felipe Marks Coup Attempt

King Felipe last week marked the 40th anniversary of the failed coup that almost derailed Spain’s nascent Democracy in 1981.

His Majesty presided over a small ceremony at the Congress of Deputies with Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and other top officials.

King Felipe on the floor of the Spanish Congress with other top officials. Gunshot damage is still visible in the ceiling from the coup attempt. Spanish Royal Household

King Felipe recalled his father, King Juan Carlos, being instrumental in putting down the coup. He called military leaders and, after delays, was able to make a televised address to call for respecting the new constitution.

The coup involved a Civil Guard officer, Antono Tejero, storming the Congress with a small crew and holding lawmakers hostage. Plotters also took over state television and were poised to begin taking over the country.

King Felipe was a child when the events happened. King Juan Carlos made sure he was present during some of the toughest moments so the then-heir would learn from the developments.

King Juan Carlos Pays Millions In Back Taxes

King Juan Carlos has paid more than 4 million euros in back taxes, according to his attorney, Spanish media outlets reported last week.

Don Juan Carlos has been working to regularize his status with tax authorities, particularly concerning transactions dating from 2014, when he abdicated the throne and lost his immunity.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia at the Spanish Congress in 2018. Spanish Royal Household

The tax payments stem from free flights and other services King Juan Carlos enjoyed at the expense of his cousin, businessman Álvaro of Orleans.

Violent Protests Follow Rapper’s Arrest

Last week’s arrest of Spanish rapper Pablo Hasel has unleashed days of violent protests in Barcelona and other areas, particularly in Catalonia.

Catalan police arrested Hasel at the University of Lleida, where he was holed up with his supporters. Hasel had until February 12 to turn himself in after the Spanish Supreme Court upheld a 2018 conviction against the rapper of supporting terrorism and injuries against the Crown.

King Felipe attending a business conference in Aragon late last week. Spanish Royal Household

Spain’s penal code includes provisions to punish people who insult the the King or his family. The law is not meant to silence criticism of the Crown and prosecutions are rare.

Princess Leonor To Study Abroad

Leonor, the Princess of Asturias and heir to the Spanish throne, will study abroad in Wales, the Royal Household said today, according to media outlets.

 The 15-year-old will be attending UWC Atlantic College for two years at a cost of more than $90,000, to be paid for by King Felipe and Queen Letizia.

The school is run by United World Colleges, which has educated well-known people in the arts and government, including royals.

Spanish state broadcaster TVE is in hot water after a graphic saying Princess Leonor was leaving Spain just like her grandfather, King Juan Carlos. The internal and political backlash has been fierce.

King Felipe Freezes His Salary

King Felipe is freezing his salary, along with pay for his wife and mother, the Royal Household said in recent weeks.

His Majesty is keeping his salary at just over 253,000 euros. Queen Letizia makes just over 139,000 euros and Queen Sofia just over 114,000 euros.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia in the Madrid Royal Palace Throne Room during a reception for the diplomatic corps. Spanish Royal Household

The Royal Household is withholding King Juan Carlos’ pay amid allegations of shady financial dealings. The money will go to information technology improvements.

Royals Open The 2021 Agenda

King Felipe and Queen Letizia opened the royal agenda this year with the Pascua Militar — an event with top military and government leaders at the Madrid Royal Palace that coincides with Epiphany.

His Majesty focused his remarks in the Royal Palace Throne Room on the pandemic. He did the same during his Christmas Eve speech last month.

King Felipe also held separate gatherings with military leaders this week also at the Madrid Royal Palace.

Spanish Royal Household

His Majesty has at least three audiences Monday at the Pardo Palace, just outside of central Madrid near the royal residence of Zarzuela Palace.

King Addresses Father’s Misdeeds

King Felipe’s Christmas Eve message today, his most important of the year, was relatively short and simple, focusing mainly on the COVID-19 pandemic and ethical scandals.

Specifically, His Majesty addressed corruption allegations against his father, King Juan Carlos, who helped steer Spain from dictatorship to democracy in the 1970s.

King Felipe did not directly mention his father but he left no doubt what he was talking about. Don Felipe, among other steps, has resigned any financial ties and inheritance from his father.

“Together with our democratic principles and following the law, we must also preserve the ethical values that are at the root of our society,” said King Felipe.

Spanish Royal Household

The King’s speech this year was particularly simple. His background included Christmas declrations, one picture, flags and a copy of the Spanish Constitution.

Like years before, he encouraged Spaniards not to lose hope — this time amid the pandemic and its economic consequences.

Royals Release Christmas Cards

The Spanish Royal Family released this year’s Christmas cards this week.

King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia signed one card featuring the princess and the infanta posing in the community of Somao in the Principality of Asturias.

The Princess of Asturias Foundation picks a community to celebrate every year in concert with the Princess of Asturias Awards. Somao won this year.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia released a separate card, featuring a painting of the Nativity. They usually feature a piece of art with a Chrismas theme in their card.

The Royal Family used to release a card with multuple relatives but stopped doing so after they found it hard to get everyone together. Controversies and King Juan Carlos’ abdication have also reduced the number of people considered members of the core Royal Family.