National Day Parade Returns

King Felipe, Queen Letizia and Infanta Sofia presided over a military parade in Madrid last week for Spanish National Day or Dia de la Hispanidad.

Members of the Royal Family at the viewing stand as members of the Royal Guard ride on their motorcycles. Spanish Royal Household

The annual event was much smaller last year and confined to the Madrid Royal Palace grounds because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year it returned with some health precautions.

King Felipe inspecting Royal Guard forces. Spanish Royal Household

The Oct. 12 event, which includes military overflights and a reception at the Royal Palace, marks the historical consolidation of the Spanish state and its colonization of the Americas.

An overflight from the Eagle Patrol. Spanish Royal Household

Leonor, the Princess of Asturias, was not present at the event. She’s away at school in Wales.


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.

Politics Surrounds Hispanic Day

Politics and Spain’s tough economic situation surrounded the annual Fiesta Nacional in Madrid today.

The celebrations, including a military parade, cost a fraction of what it did in previous years in keeping with times of austerity.

© Casa S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

King Juan Carlos was seen chatting with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy during the parade. Media outlets are reporting that the King criticized the education minister’s comments in favor of making Catalonian children more Spanish.

Amid talks of independence in that autonomous community, Prince Felipe told journalists that he is not worried about Catalonia and that the Crown would continue its commitment to all Spaniards.

At the Royal Palace, however, King Juan Carlos joked with journalists instead of talking about the Catalonian situation.

Throne Room, Royal Palace.
© Casa S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Also of note, Infanta Elena was not with other members of the Royal Family during many of the ceremonies.

The Royal Household told media outlets that only the the King, Queen and the heirs to the throne would be included in the main stand from now on.

“The time had to come,” Infanta Elena told reporters. She will continue to represent the Royal Family at official events.

The Infantas have usually been close to their father during important events, but things have changed amid Infanta Cristina’s absence from the family’s public affairs because of her husband’s corruption probe.