King Felipe Marks Coup Attempt

King Felipe last week marked the 40th anniversary of the failed coup that almost derailed Spain’s nascent Democracy in 1981.

His Majesty presided over a small ceremony at the Congress of Deputies with Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and other top officials.

King Felipe on the floor of the Spanish Congress with other top officials. Gunshot damage is still visible in the ceiling from the coup attempt. Spanish Royal Household

King Felipe recalled his father, King Juan Carlos, being instrumental in putting down the coup. He called military leaders and, after delays, was able to make a televised address to call for respecting the new constitution.

The coup involved a Civil Guard officer, Antono Tejero, storming the Congress with a small crew and holding lawmakers hostage. Plotters also took over state television and were poised to begin taking over the country.

King Felipe was a child when the events happened. King Juan Carlos made sure he was present during some of the toughest moments so the then-heir would learn from the developments.

King Felipe Freezes His Salary

King Felipe is freezing his salary, along with pay for his wife and mother, the Royal Household said in recent weeks.

His Majesty is keeping his salary at just over 253,000 euros. Queen Letizia makes just over 139,000 euros and Queen Sofia just over 114,000 euros.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia in the Madrid Royal Palace Throne Room during a reception for the diplomatic corps. Spanish Royal Household

The Royal Household is withholding King Juan Carlos’ pay amid allegations of shady financial dealings. The money will go to information technology improvements.

King Addresses Father’s Misdeeds

King Felipe’s Christmas Eve message today, his most important of the year, was relatively short and simple, focusing mainly on the COVID-19 pandemic and ethical scandals.

Specifically, His Majesty addressed corruption allegations against his father, King Juan Carlos, who helped steer Spain from dictatorship to democracy in the 1970s.

King Felipe did not directly mention his father but he left no doubt what he was talking about. Don Felipe, among other steps, has resigned any financial ties and inheritance from his father.

“Together with our democratic principles and following the law, we must also preserve the ethical values that are at the root of our society,” said King Felipe.

Spanish Royal Household

The King’s speech this year was particularly simple. His background included Christmas declrations, one picture, flags and a copy of the Spanish Constitution.

Like years before, he encouraged Spaniards not to lose hope — this time amid the pandemic and its economic consequences.

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 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.