King, Prince Make Joint Appearance After Abdication News

King Juan Carlos and Prince Felipe made a joint appearance today after the King’s abdication announcement yesterday.

Don Juan Carlos and Don Felipe presided over a military ceremony at El Escorial palace complex in the outskirts of Madrid.

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Prince Felipe, who was recently in El Salvador for the new president’s swearing-in, is expected to be proclaimed King by the Cortes Generales later this month.

Today Queen Sofia, who was having meetings at the United Nations in New York, when asked about her husband’s abdication said things would continue as usual after the transfer of power.

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Of course, there will be major changes.

Media reports indicate that Infanta Elena and Infanta Cristina will no longer be members of the Royal Family as they are now.

They will instead be part of the King’s Family and keep their titles of nobility.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia will remain part of the Royal Family as former Monarchs, but Don Juan Carlos will lose his legal inviolability.

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Princess Letizia Celebrates Anniversary

Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia last week celebrated their ten year anniversary.

The Royal Household released pictures of the couple getting their daughters — Infanta Leonor and Infanta Sofia — getting ready for school.

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

The Royal Household also released a series of statistics about Their Royal Highnessess as Prince and Princess of Asturias, and heirs to the Spanish throne.

The Prince and Princess of Asturias on a museum visit in Toledo. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos
The Prince and Princess of Asturias on a museum visit in Toledo.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

The couple has made more than 70 foreign trips to 38 countries. They have hosted more than 1,500 official events together, with Princess Letizia hosting 190 by herself.

The Prince and Princess have also received more than 7,000 people together during audiences.

 

Royals Woo Catalonia (Updated)

Amid pro-independence rumblings in the Spanish Autonomous Community of Catalonia, Prince Felipe of Asturias over the weekend presided over a dinner with business and regional leaders at Albéniz Palace in Barcelona, the King’s official residence in the city.

© Casa de S.M. el rey / Borja Fotógrafos
At Albéniz Palace, royal residence owned by the Catalan government.
© Casa de S.M. el rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Prince Felipe, who was in town for the eve of the 2014 Mobile World Congress, alluded to Catalonia’s importance within Spain.

He spoke of Barcelona as the “beloved and dynamic capital of Catalonia,” and made remarks in Spanish, English and Catalan.

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

His Royal Highness also met with Catalan President Artur Mas, who is calling for a referendum on independence and, during his own remarks, highlighted Catalonia’s own strengths.

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

On Monday Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia walked the convention floor. One of their meetings was with Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg.

Things got tougher later in the week when a Catalan businessman refused to shake the Prince’s hand.

Don Felipe pressed the issue with Alex Fenoll, who kept refusing. A video of the incident has gone viral.

Media reports also indicate that other business leaders in Catalonia expressed concerns about the lack of dialogue between Barcelona and Madrid during what has become a political stalemate.

Other Agenda Items

Among numerous royal agenda items in recent weeks, today Queen Sofia visited the Spanish National Ballet and the National Dance Company. Her Majesty is known for her attachment to classical arts.

Earlier this month King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were in Portugal meeting with Portuguese and Italian leaders in Lisbon to promote regional economic development.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia with Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva, su esposa, Maria Alves da Silva, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and their wives. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos
King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia with Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, and their wives.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Prince Felipe, Princess Letizia Tour Florida and California

Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia were on a whirlwind official trip to the U.S. earlier this week.

Their Royal Highnesses visited sites in California and then Florida, which included meetings with American politicians, including Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R).

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos
Prince Felipe tries on Google Glass technology at Silicon Valley.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia also visited cultural sites, met with business leaders, spoke with U.S.-based Spaniards and toured news outlets, including the Los Ageles Times and Univision in Miami.

Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia greet spectators in Miami. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos
Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia greet spectators in Miami.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Not surprisingly, the heirs to the Spanish throne highlighted the importance of Hispanic culture to the U.S.

Leibovitz, Higgs Among Award Winners

Photographer Annie Leibovitz and scientist Peter Higgs were among this year’s recipients of the annual Prince of Asturias awards, held in Oviedo, capital of the Principality of Asturias in Spain.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos
Queen Sofia, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia arriving at the awards venue in Asturias.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

The awards are among the most important events that the Spanish Royal Family puts on every year. The ceremony is broadcast live on television and brings out thousands of spectators.

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

Beyond the formal events at Campoamor Theater and the Hotel of the Reconquest, the Prince and Princess of Asturias also award a town in the principality.

This year they recognized the community of Teverga for working to overcome the downturn in mining related employment.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos
The Prince and Princess in Teverga.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Prince Felipe has been taking on an increasingly visible role in recent years after King Juan Carlos’ multiple operations.

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.

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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.”

King and Queen, Prince and Princess Deploy To Comfort Accident Victims

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia immediately deployed this week to the Santiago de Compostela area in the Galicia region to comfort victims of the high speed train derailment, which killed dozens of people.

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

Their Majesties, especially the Queen, are known for their ability to connect with and comfort people in mourning.

Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia deployed on Friday to University Hospital in Santiago, one of the facilities where the injured were taken.

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

They also met with area residents and rescue workers during their visit.