King Felipe spent most of last week in Latin America, visiting former Spanish colonies of Puerto Rico and Honduras.
His Majesty’s visit to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico for the 500th anniversary of San Juan, the island’s capital, was much anticipated by locals, many of whom cherish their Spanish roots.
The trip was particularly dramatic because vandals took down a statue of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, Puerto Rico’s first governor, but local officials put the statue back on its pedestal as the King was landing.
Puerto Ricans still keep the coat of arms granted by Spain and the island’s municipalities also follow Spanish heraldry for their symbols.
Many Puerto Ricans were disappointed the trip didn’t include Queen Letizia, who had other agenda items in Madrid.
Puerto Ricans are hoping the trip strengthens economic relations with Spain after several Spanish firms have reduced or pulled their presence from the island. Puerto Rico has been experiencing years of economic troubles after decades of post-World War II boom.
In Honduras, King Felipe met with incoming President Xiomara Castro, who has promised to root out corruption.
King Felipe also had a chat with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, whose portfolio includes relations with Central America.
King Felipe has been attending Latin American presidential inaugurations for decades, first as Prince of Asturias and now as Spanish head-of-state.
Swiss authorities today closed a money laundering case involving King Felipe’s father, King Juan Carlos.
Prosecutors were looking into claims Spain’s former head of state received $100 million from Saudi Arabia through a Swiss account for facilitating a high-speed rail deal.
But Swiss authorities said they were unable to prove the Saudi money was tied to the rail project. Don Juan Carlos has long been close with Saudi royals.
The former head of state has been living in exile in the United Arab Emirates and has worked to address previously unreported earnings to Spanish tax authorities.
Don Juan Carlos abdicated in 2014 as claims against him were starting to emerge and the financial crisis made Spaniards less forgiving of their monarch.
Media outlets detailed a relationship with German businesswoman Corinna Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, who ended up with much of the money in question. A money laundering probe against her was also dropped.
Infanta Cristina and Infanta Elena visit their father regularly, according to media outlets. It’s unclear whether Queen Sofia has seen her husband. She remains in active service of the Royal Family and popular among Spaniards.