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King Felipe spent two days in Catalonia late last month amid ongoing political tensions there.

His Majesty attended events surrounding this year’s Mobile World Congress in Catalonia’s capital of Barcelona.

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King Felipe speaking at the Palace of Catalan Music. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

The event is traditionally on the royal calendar. It is also important for members of the Royal Family to be active in Catalonia.

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The King greeting Catalan President Carles Puigdemont. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King took the opportunity to hold several meetings at Albéniz Palace, His Majesty’s official residence in Barcelona.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe and Queen Letizia have since continued a full agenda of meetings.

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Queen Letizia did something rare and notable this week.

Even though Her Majesty usually doesn’t wear tiaras or has preferred smaller ones, she wore one of the larger pieces in the royal collection for a state dinner for Argentina’s new president and first lady.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Queen Letizia wore the fleur-de-lis tiara from Spanish jeweler Ansorena that Queen Victoria Eugenie wore on her wedding day to Alfonso XIII in 1906.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Some commentators said the Queen wore the tiara to overshadow President Macri’s wife, Juliana Awada.

Other news

Also in recent days, Barcelona’s Gran Teatro del Liceo gave Queen Sofia a gold medal for her commitment to the arts.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Separately, a Palma de Mallorca court is not making King Felipe’s brother in law Iñaki Urdangarin report to prison following his corruption and fraud conviction. A long appeals process is likely.

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A Palma de Mallorca court has absolved Infanta Cristina, King Felipe’s sister, of fraud and corruption charges today.

Her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, the former Duke of Palma, may go to jail for more than six years.

At issue is a long-running case dealing with a group Urdangarin lead. Authorities accuse him of enriching himself through lucrative government contracts.

Even though the court absolved the infanta, King Juan Carlos’ daughter and former Duchess of Palma, she must pay a so-called civil responsibility.

The King and Queen Letizia continued with their schedule as usual. The Royal Household has expressed confidence in the justice system.

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The King and Queen today at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid. The Baroness Thyssen is on the left. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe’s rise to the throne after Don Juan Carlos’ abdication means Infanta Cristina is no longer a member of the core Royal Family.

The scandal also led her brother to strip her of her duchess title. She claims she resigned it first.

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King Felipe addressed problems facing the European Union and Spain’s plans to work with the new Trump administration in the United States.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe’s father, King Juan Carlos, was the first head of state to visit President Obama at the White House. But Spain has said little about Trump.

During a reception at the Royal Palace in Madrid for the diplomatic corps last month, the King said, “It is our desire to continue working with the new administration at the same level of excellence that we have done until now.”

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King spoke in the Throne Room. The reception was nearby in the stately Hall of Columns.

On Europe, His Majesty said, “We are aware that the European project is being put into question” but he pointed to EU actions to address the financial crisis. “It’s time for a better Europe, not to undo the good we have built or to turn back.”

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King Felipe and Queen Letizia met with German President Joachim Gauck and his partner Daniela Schadt.

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Spain and Germany have close business and political ties. The two couples had lunch at Zarzuela Palace in Madrid.

 

 

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Busy New Year Agenda

King Felipe and Queen Letizia have held numerous public events in the weeks since launching their agenda for 2017.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe presided over a meeting of leaders of Spain’s autonomous communities, as seen above. The presidents of Catalonia and the Basque Country.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King met with the Archbishop of Madrid at Zarzuela Palace. Pope Francis recently announced that Carlos Osoro Sierra would be a cardinal.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King also received several ambassador credentials at the Royal Palace in Madrid.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Queen Letizia, among the events she has led, handed out the latest Premio Tomás Francisco Prieto Awards.

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King Felipe made an official visit to Saudi Arabia earlier this month to secure bilateral political and economic relations.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Don Felipe met with King Salman and numerous other Saudi leaders during his roughly two days in the country.

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King Felipe having a working breakfast with Spanish business leaders. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe’s father, King Juan Carlos, made deep inroads in the Arab world to secure contracts for Spanish businesses.

Some critics, particularly on the left, criticized Don Felipe’s visit to the totalitarian regime.

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