Madrid—Felipe Vi was crowned the new King of Spain yesterday in the Spanish Parliament. The ceremony was low keyed with Felipe wearing a simple military uniform and his wife, Queen Letizia wearing a simple white dress and coat. The Spanish Crown sat atop a pedestal along with the scepter. The king did not wear the crown as no Spanish monarch has worn it since the days of the Catholic monarchs. Instead there was a solemn proclamation and an oath taken by the new king. Once the oath was taken Speaker of the Congress Jesus Posadas proclaimed Felipe VI as the new King of Espana.
King Felipe VI said in his coronation speech that his reign will be a “renewed monarchy for new times.” He spoke about unity but also about plurality in recognition of separatist sentiments in the regions of Catalonia and the Basque Country. The king also underscored the importance of the Constitution and said his will be “the reign of a constitutional king is now getting underway.” He expressed his desire to be a symbol of national unity adding, “The parliamentary monarchy can and must continue to provide a fundamental service.” The new king also told his audience, “The Crown must constantly earn citizens’ appreciation, respect, and trust.” Felipe also acknowledged Spain’s economic crisis and a growing widespread public dissatisfaction with politicians. “Today, more than ever, citizens are rightly demanding that public officials lead by example, ” he said. He called for a renewed spirit of governance based on the best interest of Spaniards and added, “today I would like for us to look forward to the future.” King Felipe VI ended his speech with the words of Don Quixote saying, “A man is not worth more than another man if he does not do more than him.” He expressed that he wishes Spaniards to be pleased with his day to day work.
The ceremony was simple which is just the way Felipe and his wife wanted it and live. The couple are well known for their simple middle class style and tastes and they both tend to shun all of the pomp and glamour typically associated with monarchs. Outside of a very large motorcade to the Parliament complete with limos, police, and horse mounted guards all else was simple. Following the ceremony the Royal Family greeted crowds from the balcony of the royal palace in Madrid.
Today on his first day on the job as Spain’s new king, Felipe VI held his first official meeting with Spain’s embattled Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy for about an hour. Following that the King met with the cabinet in the La Zarzuela Palace. His first official trip abroad will be with Pope Francis at the Vatican. The new king and queen will then travel to Morocco, France, and Portugal. Felipe is also scheduled to speak at the UN this September to defend Spain’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council next year. While he was Crown Prince he visited every Latin American country except Cuba and the new king is expected to form close ties between Spain and Latin America including Mexico.
Monarchs tend to become stale after a few decades for Felipe is a welcomed breathe of fresh air. He and his wife’s simple middle class lifestyle is appealing to many Spaniards because they believe the royal couple are more in touch with the common people. Felipe is going to be a working king I suspect and I think he will strive his best to stay in touch with the common people. That will be a good thing for Spain. We will keep our eyes on him and Queen Letizia.
Viva la Rey!
For insight into Spain’s new Queen Letizia see:
To read about the challenges King Felipe VI faces see: