Juan María Urdangarín, father of Iñaki Urdangarín, the Duke of Palma, died Thursday at 79 in his native Basque Country. The former businessman had been ill for several months, according to media reports.
Queen Sofia and Infanta Elena will travel to Vitoria on Friday to be with the family. The Duke traveled to Spain from Washington earlier this week. Infanta Cristina, the Duchess of Palma, is also making her way to join her husband.
Update: Earlier this week, the Duchess visited the National Gallery of Art on Washington, D.C., where this blog originates. She went after-hours for a Joan Miró exhibit.
The press and the Spanish public are making much of Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia presiding over the traditional lunch at the Royal Palace in Madrid yesterday to commemorate the Cervantes Prize and its winner.
While the King and Queen usually lead the event, recent events have contributed to the Prince and Princess of Asturias taking over, at least for this year.
Prince Felipe called it “special and exceptional” for their Majesties to be missing the event, but also the prize’s winner, Chilean Poet Nicanor Parra, because of delicate health.
The Cervantes award, named after the author of Don Quixote, includes a 125,000 euro check. It is among the most prestigious literary prizes in the world.
Their Royal Highnesses will also preside over the award ceremony at the University of Alcalá on Monday.
Separately, it appears that Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo, is presiding over more events on behalf of the Royal Family. This week she accompanied her mother, the Queen, to the MAPFRE Foundation awards. MAPFRE is a Spanish international insurance company.
She also presided over the first Paralympic Evening in advance of the London games. Infanta Elena is the president of honor of the Spanish committee.