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.

Government Blocks King From Barcelona Trip

The Spanish government — currently led by a left-wing coalition — blocked King Felipe from attending an official event in Barelona this week to promote new judges.

Royalist politicians and leaders of Spain’s judicial branch expressed dismay with the decision, but top judges were unable to agree on a joint statement against it.

The government defended the move but did not provide a clear explanation, according to several media outlets.

King Felpe at the Palace of Justice in Madrid earlier this month. Spanish Royal Household

Speculation centers around security concerns, delicate budget negotiations and efforts to not anger Catalan nationalists.

King Speaks To The United Nations

King Felipe spoke during a meeting of the United Nations this week to celebrate the global body’s 75th anniversary.

His Majesty called for greater global unity and multilateralism in the face of challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic.

Spanish Royal Household

The King, who studied foreign affairs at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., spoke from his office at Zarzuela Palace just outside central Madrid.

His message was in contrast to statements from President Trump and other nationalist and populist leaders, who oppose multilateralism.

King, Queen Open Royal Theater Season

King Felipe and Queen Letizia opened the Royal Theater’s 2020-2021 season last week, which is moving forward during the pandemic but with added precautions.

Fittingly, the venue — located across from the Royal Palace in Madrid — will be hosting performances of the opera A Masked Ball.

Spanish Royal Household

Their Majesties have made it a tradition to attend the opening of the Royal Theater’s season. Officials, nobles and socialites also tend to attend.

Queen Celebrates Birthday

Queen Letizia birthday is today. Her Majesty turned 48 today with no public events.

Doña Letizia was in the autonomous community of Navarre yesterday visiting a school to open the 2020-2021 academic year.

Queen Letizia with national and local officials. Spanish Royal Household

Spanish news outlets reported in recent days that Princess Leonor was under quarantine because a classmate tested positive for COVID-19.

Princess Leonor Under Quarantine

Leonor, the princess of Asturias and heir to the Spanish throne, is under quarantine because of a COVID-19 scare.

The Royal Household told media outlets the princess was under quarantine after a classmate turned out positive for the novel coronavirus.

Leonor, the princess of Asturias. Spanish Royal Household

Earlier this year it was thought Queen Letizia may have been exposed to the virus but her test came back negative.

Royals Return To Work

Spain’s Royal Family returned to work this month after several weeks on holiday in August.

The following are images of just some public events by King Felipe and Queen Letizia since the beginning of the month.

King Felipe opening the 2020-2021 judicial year at the Palace of Justice in Madrid on Sept. 7th. Spanish Royal Household
King Felipe and Queen Letizia and other officials during an event in honor of volunteers on Sept. 8th. Spanish Royal Household
King Felipe greeting Ukraine’s foreign minister at Zarzuela Palace Sept. 10. Spanish Royal Household

King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia spent some of their vacations at Marivent Palace in Mallorca.

Confirmed: King Juan Carlos In UAE

King Juan Carlos has been staying in the United Arab Emirates since earlier this month, the Spanish Royal Household confirmed today.

Don Juan Carlos left Spain amid probes of financial wrongdoing. His departure came after weeks of negotiations between King Felipe, the Spanish government and King Juan Carlos.

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

King Juan Carlos and the Royal Household had been keeping his destination secret. Initial reports had him in the Dominican Republic but then a picture emerged of His Majesty in Abu Dhabi.