King Felipe and Queen Letizia launched their agenda for the new year with the deeply traditional “Pascua Militar” events at the Royal Palace in Madrid.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

During the ceremonies, the King meets with service members and addresses military leaders at the throne room.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Toward the end of the deeply traditional event, the crowd cheers for Spain and the King.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Since last week, the King and Queen have met with several groups and associations at Zarzuela Palace.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Today the King traveled to Portugal for the funeral of former President Mário Alberto Lopes Soares.

King Felipe dedicated his annual Christmas message to urging Spaniards to be more positive and resolute, and to work together toward a more prosperous future.

The King recognized country’s economic crisis and political difficulties, but also pleaded with Spaniards to focus on the nation’s growth and unity.


The King spoke from his office at Zarzuela Palace. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Don Felipe’s words were relatively forceful. “Intolerance and exclusion, the negation of the other or disrespect for another’s opinion, don’t fit in today’s Spain,” he said.

Like previous years, the King also alluded — albeit indirectly — to nationalist movements in Catalonia and the Basque Country.

“Breaking the norms that guarantee our democracy and liberty only leads to tensions and sterile clashes that don’t resolve anything, and to the moral and material worsening of the society,” he said.


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Mainstream parties welcomed the King’s message. Populist party Podemos accused the monarch of not listening to his people.

Many Spaniards tend to be pessimistic about their country, even amid the recovery. Nationalist movements have also flared, particularly since the empire’s fall.

King Felipe — caretaker of the country’s unity, according to the constitution — has been using his bully pulpit to reverse those social trends.

The Spanish Royal Household has released samples of the King and Queen’s holiday card.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia’s card includes a family picture with their daughters — Leonor, the Princess of Asturias, and Infanta Sofia.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, as previous years, featured a work of art.

Their card included a picture of a centuries-old religious sculpture at a Spanish monastery.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia made a joint appearance last week at the Madrid Royal Palace.


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King Felipe’s parents opened a new exhibit of royal collections there, part of Patrimonio Nacional’s effort to put more artifacts on display at the palace.


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Gossip has long surrounded King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, but the two have attended several events together in recent months.

King Juan Carlos is in Cuba this week to attend funeral services for former Cuban President Fidel Castro.

Spain has long had ties with its former colony and, now that the island is becoming more open, Spain wants to secure its position there.

Don Juan Carlos has been a point-person for King Felipe in Latin America. Don Felipe used to be that point-person when he was Prince of Asturias.


King Juan Carlos with Cuban President Raúl Castro. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe, meanwhile, has spent recent days on a state visit to Portugal, a key Spanish ally.


The King and Queen have dinner with the Portuguese president. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe and Queen Letizia have made several stops in the country and met with several local and national leaders.


The King and Queen before Don Felipe addresses the Portuguese Assembly. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Tomorrow the King is scheduled to meet with the president of the European Commission in Madrid.

Members of the Spanish Royal Family have packed their agenda ahead of the upcoming holidays.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Felipe and Queen Letizia visited Valencia last week to hand out the Rey Jaime I awards, which focus on research and discovery.

The King and Queen also visited the eastern Spanish city’s main marketplace, and spoke with vendors and visitors.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

On Friday, Queen Sofia was at the Royal Palace in Madrid handing out awards in Ibero-American poetry.


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She then visited Mallorca to help mark the 700th anniversary of the death of Ramón Llull, a Catalan writer and philosopher.


Queen Sofia at the Palma de Mallorca Cathedral. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

King Juan Carlos was also on the agenda in recent weeks. He was at Bank of Spain headquarters giving out an award on the economy named after him.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

On the agenda in the coming days are a swearing-in and an official trip to Portugal.

King Felipe called for a “new era of prosperity” during the opening of the Cortes Generales this week.

The King attended the solemn ceremony with Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia.

Protocol for the occasion includes opening the Door of the Lions and a brief military parade.

The King said, “Our recent history has not been free of difficulties. We have overcome them and will continue to overcome. I am convinced that the Spanish people has a profound desire to open a new era of prosperity centered on coexistence and understanding.”