King Stresses Unity In Catalonia Trip

King Felipe today sought to revive the spirit of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics as a way to combat political instability in Catalonia.

His Majesty participated in ceremonies in the Catalan capital to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the historic games.

There he met with Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, who is calling for a referendum on independence from Spain.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Don Felipe, who carried the Spanish flag during the opening ceremonies in 1992, said participants “represented all we are and all that we can achieve together.”

The King also met with Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau, known for her left leaning views but also her discomfort with independence.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Some of the events were at Albéniz Palace, the King’s residence in Barcelona, which is mostly used for ceremonial purposes.

King, Queen Send Off Olympic Team

King Felipe and Queen Letizia cheered the Spanish Olympic team as athletes departed for Brazil over the weekend.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

The King and Queen spoke with the athletes and took numerous selfies. We may also see a member of the Royal or King’s family in Rio de Janeiro.

Queen Sofia In New York Amid Busy Agenda

The Spanish Royal Family’s agenda is quickly picking up after the recent summer vacations in Europe.

Today King Juan Carlos handed out the King Juan Carlos Human Rights Award at the famed Univerity of Alcalá.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

The King’s son, Prince Felipe of Asturias, also presided over several meetings today at Zazrzuela Palace in the outskirts of Madrid.

However, Queen Sofia is the one capturing the headlines. Her Majesty has been in New York this week.

She was at the United Nations to receive the Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Rights Award on behalf of Spain.

During her remarks, the Queen said the award represented the goal of complete equality for people in society.

Queen Sofia also met with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and spoke at a development work meeting. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos
Queen Sofia also met with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and spoke at an international development work meeting.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

It should not come as a surprise that Queen Sofia, a big sports fan and a booster of Spanish athletes, took some time to see Rafael Nadal win the US Open.

© Agencia EFE
© Agencia EFE

Prince Disappointed By Madrid Loss

Prince Felipe expressed disappointment this weekend over Madrid’s loss to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Don Felipe, and his wife, Princess Letizia, were in Buenos Aires lobbying for the city’s bid, along with other officials, including Government President Mariano Rajoy.

The Prince is said to have impressed delegates with his use of French, English and Spanish to answer questions about Madrid’s preparedness.

20130906_Audiencia presidente COI_01

In the end, the Prince of Asturias said he understood the “sadness from the people of Madrid and all of Spain.” He said, “This is a competition that we were not able to win.”

Royals Host IOC Reps

Queen Sofia, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia and Infanta Elena welcomed International Olympic Committee representatives at the Royal Palace last week.

They were hoping to impress the Evaluation Commission for Madrid’s candidacy to host the games in 2020.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Prince Felipe said in the Palace’s main dining hall that Madrid was not only a European City but also represented broader Ibero-American aspirations.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

More than 100 guests attended the event, the Royal Household said. Infanta Pilar, the King’s sister, was also there.

Royals Encourage Spanish Athletes; Denied Entry At Olympic Site

Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia attended the 2012 Olympics closing ceremonies.

Queen Sofia greets Spanish basketball player Felipe Reyes.
© Agencia EFE

In the days leading up to yesterday’s festivities, the Prince and Princess of Asturias joined Queen Sofia in visiting Spanish athletes, touring the campus and speaking with journalists.

Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia at the media center.
© Comité Olímpico Español

In an embarrassing moment that is making worldwide news, Olympics staff members refused the Royal Family entry to a restricted section at one of the venues. They wanted to greet Nico Garcia for a silver medal in Taekwondo.

© Agencia EFE

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Media reports indicate that while staffers appeared rude to Her Majesty and their Royal Highnesses, the Borbones took it all in stride.

Updated: Royalty Arrives At Olympics

Queen Sofia rose to her feet and waved at Spanish athletes during the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics.

Queen Sofia at Buckingham Palace.
© Agencia EFE

Queen Sofia attended a reception with Queen Elizabeth II, a distant relative, at Buckingham Palace before heading to the Olympic Stadium.

She also inaugurated the opening of the Spanish House for the events.

Queen Sofia with Spanish Sports Minister José Ignacio Wert and Madrid Mayor Ana Botella
© Agencia EFE

Yesterday, the Queen presided over a reception at the Spanish Embassy in London, where she was accompanied by King Juan Carlos’ sister, Infanta Pilar, Duchess of Badajoz.

© Agencia EFE

Olympic Sendoff

King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia and other members of the Royal Family hosted several members of the Spanish Olympic delegation before their departure for London.

Group at El Pardo Palace.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

The King recalled the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and the strength of Spanish teams.

During a speech at El Pardo Palace near his own residence at Zarzuela, King Juan Carlos told the athletes that qualifying alone was a great accomplishment.

“Yours is a great responsibility and I am sure you will rise to it,” said His Majesty.

Members of the Royal Family are wrapping up their official agenda before heading to Marivent Palace in Mallorca for vacations.

Prince Felipe with European foreign ministers in the Almudaina Palace in Mallorca last week.

Even though other commitments kept the family away from the King’s Cup regatta in Mallorca, which was held earlier than usual this year because of the Olympics, Prince Felipe’s presence at the awards ceremony added a sense of normalcy to the event, Hola noted.

Prince Felipe with Balearic Island President José Ramón Bauzá Díaz last week.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Prince, Princess Show Commitment to Youth

Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia yesterday presided over the third Impulsa Forum, hosted by the Prince of Girona Foundation.

Prince Felipe speaking at the forum.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Don Felipe spoke about the problem of high dropout rates and the crisis youth unemployment. The foundation’s mission is geared toward youth empowerment and solving social problems.

Prince Felipe is not only Prince of Asturias, the heir to the Spanish throne, but also Prince of Girona, the customary heir to the throne of Aragon, which includes modern day Catalonia.

The Prince of Girona Foundation is an entity for good but also a vehicle of increasing Don Felipe’s profile in Catalonia, which tends to have a more republican tilt.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Prince and Princess Letizia participated in networking events, enjoyed youth performances and visited a Scratch Workshop, which follows a method developed at MIT to promote creative thinking.

The magazine Hola, which tracks the Royal Family, noted the commitment by the Prince and Princess to youth empowerment.

Business award to Javier Agüera, principal at GeeksPhone.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Their Royal Highnesses also gave out awards to young people who have made a difference in various spheres of Spanish society, including the arts and business.

Award to Edgar Vinyals Roja for his work on behalf of people with mental disabilities.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Also this week, Infanta Elana presided over a meeting of Spain’s Paralympic Committee. One of the topics, of course, was the upcoming London games, the Royal Household said.

Infanta Elena at the head table.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Plus, King Juan Carlos awarded 127 diplomas to military officers for training to serve in international and cooperation posts, including the NATO alliance.

King Juan Carlos with military officers.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos