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.
King Juan Carlos, King Felipe’s father and Spain’s former head of state, has revealed previously-hidden earnings to tax authorities in an effort to avoid prosecution, news outlets have reported in recent days.
That does not mean, however, that the former monarch is welcome to return to the country from an unofficial exile, despite rumblings in that direction.
Don Juan Carlos, who left Spain for the Middle East earlier this year amid scandal, is declaring more than 500,000 euros in expenses from money donated by a Mexican businessman and friend.
Separately, Swiss authorities have been investigating $100 million the Saudi Royal Family is said to have gifted the King. Much of the money, media outlets report, ended up in the hands of a former mistress, Corinna Larsen, who has generated controversy for years.
Spanish authorities have been probing whether the money was a kickback for securing a high speed rail development contract between the Saudis and Spanish firms. Media outlets say the King’s attorneys believe that case will be closed because of lack of evidence.
Spanish tax authorities are saying King Juan Carlos does not have accounts abroad, news outlets reported. He is said to be addressing financial issues following his abdication, where he lost his legal immunity.
Media outlets reported the King’s desire to return and spend Christma with family. The Royal Household and the government have said that’s premature.
The Socialist-led government has been facing pressure from both the right and left on the issue. Progressives in coalition partner Podemos have been attacking the monarchy. And while Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez told the press the Crown was not in danger, monarchists slammed him for not queting Podemos.
King Juan Carlos helped transition Spain from dictatorship to democracy, but even his supporters agree he erred in his financial dealings. His relationship with Larsen contributed to his abdication.
Spanish authorities have launched several probes into King Juan Carlos’ personal finances, according to media outlets.
Don Juan Carlos, the former head of state, left Spain for the United Arab Emirates this summer following pressure from his son, King Felipe, and goverment leaders.
Switzerland has long been looking into the movemenet of tens of millions of dollars connected to King Juan Carlos. Spanish authorities have are also investigating now that the monarch, who abdicated in 2014, is no longer immune from prosecution.
The latest leaked investigation, first reported by El Mundo, centers around an offshore trust connected to Don Juan Carlos.
King Felipe this year announced he was resigning any inheritance from his father.
King Juan Carlos, who helped steer Spain to democracy, was once deeply popular, but failing health, rumors of financial improprieties and a high profile affair with a German businesswoman led to his downfall.
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 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.
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.