Monday, 1 August 2016

Family first for Felipe

King Felipe of Spain with his daughters, Leonor and Sofia

This was an evening out all about family. King Felipe had barely arrived in Mallorca before he headed out for a spot of supper with many of his relations. Accompanied by his wife, children, parents and older sister as well as her children, this meal gave the King of Spain a chance to show the world that the royal house he now moves as one.  It was a powerful show of togetherness.

Felipe enjoyed an al fresco meal at the Flanigan restaurant in Portal Nous near Palma de Mallorca on July 31st 2016 and the only person missing from the family gathering was the sister who was once duchess of that very place. Infanta Cristina, Inaki Urdangarin and their four children weren't at the big get together but there were plenty of family photos to be had nonetheless.

First of all, we had Felipe with Letizia and their two daughters. Leonor and Sofia have finished their school year and this was a rare chance to see them with their parents - the girls have an increasing public profile but at the ages of just ten and eight, their priority is school.

Then there was the King of Spain with his oldest sister. Infanta Elena has had a fairly low profile too - the abdication of her father and accession of her brother changed her role within the royal framework in Spain and she has had a lighter list of engagements ever since.

Elena was accompanied by her two children. Froilan has just turned eighteen meaning the eldest grandchild of Juan Carlos and Sofia of Spain is now an adult. His sister, Victoria, will be sixteen in a few weeks time.

But this was a meal made for two kings and two queens as Juan Carlos and Sofia appeared together with their son and daughter in law around the table.

It's the second time we've seen the royal pair together in public in the past few months following their attendance at the 70th birthday celebrations of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden on April 30th in Stockhol,. And this evening out saw them face the cameras together - a rare event following the abdication of Juan Carlos in June 2014.

The family chatted to other diners and sat through their meal quite happily despite the presence of photographers all around them. But then a show of togetherness is just what Spain's royals need right now. Cristina may not have been there but she is an ever present figure as the trial involving both her and her husband continues.

King Felipe will have a busy stay in Mallorca as he is expected to return to Madrid when needed for talks to establish a new administration following a second set of conclusive elections earlier this summer. And while there are reports that he will head off on a private holiday with his wife and daughters in the weeks to come, nothing is confirmed while Spain's politicians are still talking. Which means these images of the Spanish Royal Family together around the table may become the defining image of their holidays in 2016.


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