Saturday, 12 November 2016

Felipe and Letizia's week

Back to business for King Felipe and Queen Letizia 
(photo casareal Twitter)

After a year of stops and starts, affected by the political deadlock that came to an end with October, the royal agenda in Spain is back in business. King Felipe and Queen Letizia have had to change their itineraries several times in 2016 because of the ongoing debates by politicians trying to form an administration, but as a new government is formed, their agenda is taking on a new shape all of its own. In the fortnight since Mariano Rajoy won parliamentary approval to govern in a minority administration, the royal agenda has returned to a much more familiar shape. Here's how Felipe and Letizia spent their first week of a rebooted royal 2016.

There was plenty of symbolism in the events they attended, too.  The royal couple's first engagement of the week was a symposium marking the 300th anniversary of the birth of King Carlos III of Spain. It was held at the Royal Palace in Aranjuez, Madrid with the royal couple attending the opening day on November 7th 2016.

The international event looked at the legacy of the man who ruled Spain between 1759 and 1788 and whose ideas were praised then and now for their innovation. Carlos III, son of Spain's last king called Felipe, was seen as a reformer and among the most enlightened monarchs of his time.  The four day symposium is part of a programme of events marking the 300th anniversary of a man called a royal modernizer.

A few days later, Felipe and Letizia attended the presentation of a major journalism award which recognises outstanding work with an eye on underlining freedom of expression.

The King of Spain, watched by his former journalist wife, presented the Francisco Cerecedo Award, to Italian writer Claudio Magris in Madrid on November 10th. In his speech, King Felipe said that it was more important now than ever for people to be able to understand with clarity what was going on in the world and how it affected their lives and said that good journalism was an essential tool in that.

The following day, King Felipe opened the sixth Assembly of the Association of San Telmo International Institute, an organisation which was set up in 1982 to help prepare students for work in companies and organisations.

The King of Spain heads to Saudi Arabia on November 12th for a three day official visit at the invitation of King Salman. Earlier this year, a visit to Saudi Arabia had to be cancelled because of the ongoing political situation. After ten months of waiting, 2016 is properly under way for King Felipe and Queen Letizia.

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