Wednesday, 5 October 2016

The Red Cross Queen

Queen Letizia of Spain during events marking Red Cross Spain's Flag Day

It's a staple in the Spanish royal calendar and this year, Queen Letizia made sure it was a real red letter day. The big fundraiser for the Spanish Red Cross, the Dia de la Banderita, was led by Letizia with help from her predecessor as queen consort, Sofia, with both lending their support to efforts in Madrid. And in those red trousers, no one was missing the message of the Queen of Spain.

Letizia began the day at a conference organised by the Red Cross in Madrid about social vulnerability in childhood. The Dia de la Banderita has counted on royal support for decades and this debate was just part of a day of events that Letizia joined in.

The main moment of the day is always the royal ladies helping sell flags to the public at tables throughout Madrid. Letizia got things started at the Red Cross table at their headquarters where the traditional photos with fans and kissing of babies unfolded.  The addition of bikers was a new twist on royal participation in the Dia de la Banderita which has been going for over 100 years.

Queen Sofia headed to the table being run by the Community of Madrid where she was accompanied by the authority's president, Cristina Cifuentes. As she has done for decades, Sofia handed out flags and accepted donations for the Red Cross - this is one of their biggest fundraising days of the year in Spain.

This year, the royal presence at the event was much more low key - in the past, we've seen both King Felipe and King Juan Carlos arriving to buy flags from their wives and meet members of the Red Cross as well as those who have come to support them. But despite the smaller turnout, the presence of Letizia and Sofia ensured it was still a big day as the Spanish Red Cross counted on the support of two queens.

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