Royals Release Christmas Cards

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 Reveals Hidden Earnings

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.

King Juan Carlos. Agencia EFE

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.

King Juan Carlos and King Felipe. Spanish Royal Household

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 signing abdication papers in 2014. Spanish Royal Household

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.

King Felipe Negative For COVID-19

King Felipe has tested negative for the novel coronavirus but will keep taking precautions, the Royal Household said.

The King went into voluntary quarantine in recent days after coming into contact with someone turned out positive for COVID-19.

On Friday His Majesty participated remotely in a meeting of the Union for the Mediterranean, which is based in Barcelona.

King Felipe during his video address, in which he called for more regional unity and dialogue. Spanish Royal Household

Other members of the Royal Family have continued making public appearances despite the public health emergency. They do so masked and following social distancing guidelines.

Queen Sofia last week presided over a ceremony at the Madrid Royal Palace for the Queen Sofia Awards for Ibero-American Poetry.

Spanish Royal Household

Queen Letizia, also last week, helped inaugurate the Tourism Innovation Summit in Seville.

Spanish Royal Household

Queen Letizia is due in Valancia today for the Rei Jaume I 2020 Awards, according to the royal calendar.

King Felipe Under Quarantine

King Felipe yesterday went into a self-imposed quarantine after coming in contact with someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the Royal Household said, according to media outlets.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia have been leading a heavy agenda despite the pandemic picking back up. The monarch’s activities have now been suspended.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia during a journalism awards ceremony this month. Spanish Royal Household

Members of the Spanish Royal Family have had several COVID-19 scares but no positive diagnosis.

Authorities Launch New Probes Into King Juan Carlos’ Finances

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.

Queen Sofia watches as King Juan Carlos signs papers related to his abdication in 2014 at the Madrid Royal Palace. Spanish Royal Household

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 Felipe during a recent event with Spain’s former prime ministers. Spanish Royal Household

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.

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.