King Felipe received another batch of new ambassador credentials at the Royal Palace in Madrid this month.


Panamanian ambassador to Spain arriving at the Royal Palace in Madrid.

But unlike previous times, the Royal Household released images of a horse-drawn carriage transporting the dignitaries through Madrid to the palace.


The New Zealand ambassador making his way to King Felipe.

The Crown revived the tradition several years ago but it has not gotten too much attention.


The carriage takes ambassadors from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Royal Palace, where members of the Royal Guard help escort them to His Majesty.


King Felipe visited Kazahstan earlier this month to visit the Spanish pavilion at Expo 2017 Astana.

The event is meant to promote the energy of the future, and Spain has made significant investments in renewable resources.


King Felipe arriving. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King also took time to meet with several international leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Cameras also caught Don Felipe meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Award for London victim

The King stopped by the Spanish embassy in Astana to sign a Royal Decree awarding the Grand Cross of Civil Merit to Ignacio Echeverría, who died in the recent terrorist attack in London.


His Majesty only spent one day in the Asian country.

Left-leaning politicians in the Spanish autonomous community of Navarra approved a resolution in favor of a referendum on the monarchy this week.

The vote happened the day before King Felipe and Queen Letizia were set to visit the National Center for Technology and Food Security.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Politicians in Navarra, which has taken a leftward turn, also recently moved to de-royalize the Prince of Viana awards.

Beyond the title of Prince of Asturias, the heir to the Spanish throne is also the Prince of Princess of Viana. The current holder is Princess Leonor.


Their Majesties meeting with the people of Navarra. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

The Spanish media did not give the referendum too much attention, mainly because of its symbolic nature.

Spain is still feeling the effects of the financial crisis and rising populism, which have hurt the monarchy.


King Felipe and Queen Letizia commemorating Armed Forces Day last month. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Political corruption scandals and the conviction of Infanta Cristina’s husband for fraud have also taken a toll.


King Felipe meeting with Indian President Narendra Modi at Zarzuela Palace. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

But it would be a mistake to say the monarchy is in peril, as many international news outlets like to say.

King Juan Carlos, who helped transition Spain to democracy and was once considered untouchable, had to abdicate amid several missteps.

But opinion polls show his son, King Felipe, gets much higher marks. Queen Letizia and Queen Sofia, Don Felipe’s mother, also do well with the public.


King Juan Carlos following Real Madrid in Cardiff, Wales, this month.


King Felipe celebrating FC Barcelona’s victory in the King’s Cup last month.

Polls are all over the place. El Español published a poll in 2016 finding less than 50 percent support for the monarchy but 53 percent support for King Felipe.

An El Mundo poll from 2015 has the monarchy at more than 60 percent. A Metroscopia poll the same year had the King’s approval at more than 80 percent.


Queen Sofia greeting her daughter, Infanta Elena, ahead of the insurance company MAPFRE awards. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Despite politicians, particularly on the left, bringing up issues like the monarchy, a Spanish Center for Sociological Investigations found most Spaniards are not concerned about it.

Infanta Cristina, King Felipe’s sister, reappeared during a public event last week, just weeks after a Palma de Mallorca court cleared her of corruption charges.

The scandal was related to her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin’s, business dealings. The court convicted him.

Doña Cristina visited the Royal Palace for the first time in years for the funeral of Infanta Alicia of Bourbon-Parma and Habsburg-Lorraine.


Queen Sofia, King Juan Carlos, Queen Letizia and King Felipe at the Madrid Royal Palace chapel. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Spanish media outlets posted video of the event, with King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia greeting Infanta Cristina on their way in.

Agenda remains packed

Also this month, King Felipe presided over a meeting of the Scientific Council of the Royal Institute of International and Strategic Affairs.


The King arriving at the meeting at the Royal Palace of La Granja near Segovia.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were in Oslo on the 10th for King Harald and Queen Sonja’s birthday. Queen Sofia’s family once eyed Harald as a potential suitor.



On the 11th, Queen Letizia spoke at en event in Seville to mark the Red Cross and Red Crescent.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

On the 8th, King Juan Carlos gave his sister, Infanta Margarita, a medal for her with with the Royal Academy of Medicine.

Reyes, Juan, Carlos, Sofía, Infanta, Margarita_20170508_04

Also on the 8th, King Felipe and Queen Letizia welcomed the president of Costa Rica and his wife.


King Felipe is set to travel to Jordan later this month for an economic and political meeting on the Middle East and North Africa.Cristina

Members of the Spanish Royal Family have had a busy public agenda in the weeks since the Easter break.

Late last month King Felipe was in Strasbourg, speaking to the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly to mark the 40th anniversary of Spain joining the group.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Earlier, he gave an award to actor and filmmaker Antonio Bandera as the University of Alcalá de Henares, where author Miguel de Cervantes was born.


The King and Queen Letizia recently handed out the global Cervantes prize there related to the Spanish language.

The Queen last month also visited Valencia for a meeting on rare diseases, one of her focus areas, and a gathering with students.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Their Majesties spent days in the Canary Islands, meeting with local leaders and residents, including at the Christopher Columbus House in Las Palmas of Gran Canaria.


King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, shortly after Easter, visited Seville’s royal sites to commemorate the 1992 Expo there.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Media outlets have also reported that King Felipe and Queen Letizia are working on a good date for their postponed state visit to the United Kingdom.

Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia, King Felipe and Queen Letizia’s daughters, are increasingly taking an active public role for the Royal Household.


King Felipe with Queen Letizia and Queen Sofia, and Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

During Easter mass in Palma de Mallorca — a traditional stop for members of the Royal Family — the young Royal Highnesses appeared poised and confident when greeting the public.


Leonor, the Princess of Asturias and heir to the throne, is 11 and her sister Sofia is 9, so they still have some years before representing family country on their own.

When he was prince, Don Felipe swore allegiance to the Constitution when he came of age in 1986. His first speech was in 1981.

As King, he made his daughter Leonor a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece in preparation for her duties. The Royal Household has also been working on how to regulate her future activities.



King Felipe and Queen Letizia recently returned from a roughly week-long state visit to Japan.

Among numerous meetings, Their Majesties shared a meal and other meetings with Emperor Akohito and Empress Michiko.


King Felipe wearing the collar of the Japanese Order of the Chrysanthemum. The Emperor wearing the collar of the Spanish Order of the Golden Fleece. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King and Queen also, as is customary, met with Spaniards living and working in Japan.


The King worked to strengthen business ties between the two countries, meeting with business leaders on both sides.


The King and Queen, and the Emperor and Empress on a bullet train ride. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

The Queen visited researchers specializing in rare diseases, one of the focuses of her young reign.