Members of the Spanish Royal Family presided over National Day festivities in Madrid this week amid the ongoing constitutional crisis.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

With the Catalan government threatening independence, attendance was up at the Fiesta Nacional military parade.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The Ministry of Defense and other government organizers moved the event north to accommodate more spectators.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King held a brief reception at the Royal Palace after the parade. He has otherwise cleared his agenda to deal with the crisis.

The day was not a total success. One of the fighter jets that participated in the pageantry crashed and the pilot died.


King Felipe this evening delivered a rare and fiery speech against the Catalan government’s move toward independence from Spain.

The King, who spoke from Zarzuela Palace, called this week’s illegal pro-independence referendum and other developments a threat to “national sovereignty.”


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Catalan leaders have been pushing for a legal referendum for years, something the central government has rejected, fearing many people will use the occasion to cast a protest vote over economic and other grievances.

The Catalan leadership is now threatening to declare independence even though polls show most Catalans don’t support the move.

Don Felipe is calling their actions “unacceptable disloyalty,” and against Democracy and the rule of law, reiterating constitutional protections and Catalonia’s Statute of Autonomy.

The King’s speech is almost unprecedented. His father, King Juan Carlos, delivered major messages during his abdication and during an attempted coup in the early 1980’s.


King Juan Carlos in 1981.

Left wing and pro-independence parties slammed the speech for not focusing enough on dialogue. The King, however, has pressed for dialogue numerous times before.

“These moments are hard but we will overcome,” said the King, stressing Catalonia would continue being Spanish.

He said the Crown would continue standing by Democracy and the Constitution, and the “unity and permanence of Spain.”

King Felipe and other members of the Spanish Royal Family are going about their agenda this week amid a constitutional crisis.

Spanish police detained several pro-independence politicians in Catalonia today and moved to take over some of that region’s autonomy.

The King, who has spoken against separatism, greeted new ambassadors at the Royal Palace in Madrid today.


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Earlier this week, Queen Letizia was in the Canary Islands visiting a school and Queen Sofia in Portugal for a summit on Alzheimer’s disease.

The King this week was also at the opening of the new Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid.


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The King is no doubt staying in touch with government leaders amid the crisis in Catalonia.

King Felipe once again used his bully pulpit to address the crisis in Catalonia, where pro-independence parties are looking to force a referendum on independence.


King Felipe and Queen Letizia greet residents of Cuenca. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King, during remarks in recent days at an awards ceremony related to culture, spoke about Spain’s “constitutional democracy” and national “coexistence.”

Don Felipe said the Spanish Constitution would prevail as the guarantor of liberty and progress, and against those who seek to break it.


The King during remarks at the Cuenca Cathedral. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King often addresses the Catalan question in indirect terms, trying to stay above politics.

Members of the Spanish Royal Family have launched their fall agenda following the summer vacation.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia have opened the season with numerous audiences and events.

Earlier this month the King went to the Palace of Justice in Madrid to open 2017-2018 judicial year.


The King with Spanish judicial leaders. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Their Majesties have several more audiences in the coming days, including a ceremony to open the university school year.

King Felipe participated this weekend in a mass demonstration in Barcelona against terrorism.

The event, also attended by national and regional leaders, follows an attack in that city earlier this month.


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Rescue workers and officials welcomed the King. Some anti-monarchy activists and pacifists, upset about Spain’s export of military weapons, protested his arrival.


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The King has made it a point to visit Barcelona several times since the attack. His presence as a symbol of unity is particularly important amid pro-independence rumblings in the Autonomous Community of Catalonia.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia were back in Barcelona today in response to this week’s terror attacks.


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The King and Queen visited the injured in at least two Barcelona area hospitals.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey

They also signed a condolence book at Barcelona City Hall and left flowers at the scene of the incident.


© Casa de S.M. el Rey


@ Casa de S.M. el Rey

Soon after the incident, the Royal Household sent out a tweet calling the attackers murderers and saying all of Spain was with Barcelona.