Royals Begin Post-Vacation Agenda

King Felipe and Queen Letizia return from August vacations to a busy agenda, with numerous important events on the calendar.

King Felipe started the month opening the judicial year with a visit to the Spanish Supreme Court headquarters in Madrid.

Spanish Royal Household

Among his events, His Majesty also handed an award at Zarzuela Palace to Ana Patricia Botín, chair of banking giant Santander, for her promotion of Ibero-American business.

Spanish Royal Household

The King and Queen earlier this month welcomed Chilean President Sebastián Piñera. His tour of Madrid included a lunch at the Royal Palace.

Spanish Royal Household

Queen Letizia went to Zaragoza to launch the 2021-2022 school year. Crowds were there to welcome Her Majesty.

Spanish Royal Household

The Queen on Friday stopped by the Madrid Book Fair, a major event for the Spanish capital.

Spanish Royal Household

Spain’s National Day or Fiesta Nacional in October is among the most important upcoming dates. It’s unclear how big the celebrations will be because of the ongoing pandemic.

Watch Princess Leonor Speak Catalan

Members of the Spanish Royal Family were in Barcelona earlier this month to hand out the Princess of Girona Foundation Awards to leaders in different fields, like science and business.

The heir to the Spanish throne, Princess Leonor, is not only princess of Asturias but also of Girona. The Principality of Asturias historically belong to the heir to the Castilian throne while the Principality of Girona belonged to the heir of the Aragonese throne. Modern Spain includes both kingdoms.

The princess, who is 15 and still preparing for official duties, delivered remarks in Catalan because of her presence in the capital of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia. Girona is also an important Catalan city.

Catalan nationalist leaders have avoided members of the Royal Family since forming a coalition government earlier this year. They also skipped King Felipe’s visit for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, including a lunch at Albéniz Palace.

Spanish Royal Household

Also in recent days, King Felipe and Queen Letizia held a ceremony at the Madrid Royal Palace for United Nations Secretary General António Guterres. His Majesty offered some words in Portuguese.

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 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 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.

King Juan Carlos In The Middle East?

King Juan Carlos may have traveled to Abu Dhabi after announcing his decision to leave Spain last week amid a corruption investigation.

Sources initially said Don Juan Carlos, King Felipe’s father, may have traveled to the Dominican Republic to stay at Casa de Campo resort, which is owned by friends of the former head-of-state.

But more recent reports, including a picture, suggest King Felipe may be in Abu Dhabi. He is close with royals from around the Middle East.

jc1_nius
Image of King Juan Carlos exiting a jet on the BBC News website.

King Juan Carlos has not been indicted and was immune from prosecution during his time as monarch. But authorities in Spain and Switzerland are looking into tens of millions of dollars that may have been mishandled.

Catalan, Basque Presidents Snub King

King Felipe met with presidents of Spain’s autonomous communities during a conference in La Rioja Friday.

His Majesty was on hand for the meeting between regional and national officials, including Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

reunion_presidentes
King Felipe with Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, to his right, and the leaders of Spain’s autonomous communities. Spanish Royal Household

The presidents of the Basque Country and Catalonia, both members of anti-monarchist, nationalist parties, did not attend the meeting, despite pleas from the prime minister.

Catalan President Quim Torra has long been at odds with the central government in Madrid. And Basque leader Iñigo Urkullu said the central government was not complying with certain promises.

King Calls For Unity In Galicia Visit

King Felipe called for “unity and fraternity” during a visit to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia today.

Their Majesties visited the city for the Feast of St. James and made an offering to the country’s patron saint.

Santiago

Santiago2
Spanish Royal Household

Members of the Spanish Royal Family generally visit Santiago during the Feast of St. James. The King and Queen are also on a tour of the country following the pandemic lockdown.

King, Queen Visit Catalonia

King Felipe and Queen Letizia visited Catalonia last week on their ongoing countrywide tour.

A trip to Catalonia — in this case to a monastery in Tarragona — is notable because of the years-long political instability there. The region has also seen a spike in COVID-19 cases.

catalonia_visit

Pro-independence protesters were near the site but police kept them away from the King and Queen.