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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.