Wednesday, 8 October 2014

One king, two queens

It was billed as the day of the two queens but in the end, it was all about one king.  The start of October traditionally sees the women of Spain's Royal Household taking part in the special day organised by the Red Cross where people buy little badges in return for donations to the charity. Queen Sofia has led the royals on this day for decades but in advance of this year's event it was known that Queen Letizia would take charge of the main table for the first time.  But the excitement of this change was forgotten when a king made an unexpected appearance.  Juan Carlos I of Spain stole the show.

King trumps two queens - Juan Carlos stole the show from his wife and daughter in law in Madrid

His wife and daughter in law had already arrived at the traditional tables where they help distribute the badges when the king made his entrance.  Walking quickly and with just one stick, Juan Carlos made his way towards the two queens as the crowd broke into applause.  And the clapping and cheering continued as the king greeted the newest queen in Spain and made his way to the front of the table to drop his donation into the box before receiving his badge.

Juan Carlos and Letizia in Madrid on October 8th 2014

Then it was off to the next table to see his own consort.  Sofia greeted him warmly and the two shared an embrace and several warm looks.  It was the first time the couple had been seen together in public since rumours in the late summer that the two were about to divorce.  And the king and queen who have been part of Spanish life for decades showed everyone the smiles that became so familiar during their tenure.  

Smiles from Sofia - a queen and her king seen for the first time since split rumours

He may have been in the shadows for most of the days and weeks since his abdication in June this year but today was all about Juan Carlos.  It was expected to be a day of two queens but turned into the afternoon of the king.

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