The Prince of Asturias is in Paraguay for the swearing in of the country's new president. For the first time in weeks, not having the princess at his side won't lead to speculation
He's already been to Ecuador this year for the swearing in of Rafael Correa. The schedule of activities on that trip pretty much mirrors what will happen in Paraguay with a reception at the Spanish Embassy and meetings with the new president.
The Prince of Asturias with the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, in May 2013 when Felipe headed the Spanish delegation at the swearing in ceremony
The fact that the prince is on a planned solo engagement, and a long way from home, will take some of the heat out of the fevered speculations about the way the prince and princess have spent their summer holidays so far. At the weekends, the papers in Spain had a field day with chatter about the state of the relationship between Felipe and Letizia fuelled by the disjointed nature of their time in Mallorca.
A rare glimpse of the prince and princess of Asturias together on their recent holiday in Mallorca - here they visit Esporles with Leonor and Sofia
Letizia's brief stay on the island, arriving after her husband, and her quick departure leaving Felipe with Leonor and Sofia while she headed back to Madrid has caused a lot of chatter. The fact that the two little infantas then headed home to the Spanish capital with King Juan Carlos only added to the curiosity. Felipe stayed with the queen in Marivent while Letizia stayed in her part of the Zarzuela leaving grandpapa JC to do the childcare on the flight home. And while we all know that the king will have had help when it came to cracking out the colouring books and rationing the fruit juice, it's one of the biggest surprises of the summer to see the head of the family with his two youngest grandchildren, especially as the glimpses of them together in the eight years since Leonor's birth have been limited.
The official picture that greets visitors to the website of the Spanish Royal Household shows the king with his successors, Felipe and Leonor. It's one of the few official photographs of the three generations together.
But what really got tongues wagging was Letizia's departure for Switzerland with the girls just as Felipe got back from his stay in Mallorca. They headed off on Saturday leaving the prince with the telly and the fridge all to himself until he departed for Paraguay at the beginning of the week. Gossip magazines across Europe are carrying articles with headlines including the words 'distance', 'crisis' and 'unhappy'. So the royal couple and their press people will be relieved that Felipe is meant to be several thousand miles away from his wife for the next few days, if only to stop the questions for a while.
Another photo from Esporles. When your every move is captured on camera, it's easy to find images that tell different stories -from the happy family of the official snap to the distracted dad of the second
There's no official confirmation but it's thought that the Prince and Princess will take a private holiday once Felipe returns from Paraguay. And, as has become usual, the location and duration of that trip will cause more chatter. While Letizia once remarked that Mallorca was more work than vacation, the brevity of her stay there and the short space of time the couple have spent together in recent weeks has meant that her real holiday this year will be a break from the specualation that continues to swirl around her and Felipe.