the end of juan carlos’ reign

Coronation of Felipe VI to take place without presence of foreign royals

June 19 ceremony will not be attended by other heads of state. Royal palace blames lack of time

Prince Felipe at a ceremony in Madrid on Thursday.
Prince Felipe at a ceremony in Madrid on Thursday. PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU (AFP)

Not one representative of other European royal families, nor any foreign heads of state, will attend the coronation ceremony of Felipe VI, which will take place on June 19 in a joint session in Spain’s Congress and Senate in Madrid. “We have very little time, and there is no room in the benches of the lower chamber,” explained a Royal Household spokesperson on Thursday. “We aren’t going to make people come just to leave them outside.”

Nor will there be a Mass after the ceremony, as was the case when Juan Carlos I was sworn in as king in 1975. There will, however, be military honors outside Congress, and Felipe VI will attend the ceremony in his military uniform, given that when he is crowned king he will automatically become the leader of Spain’s armed forces, as established by the Constitution.

We aren’t going to make people come just to leave them outside” Royal palace spokesperson

The Zarzuela Royal Palace has yet to confirm which members of the Spanish royal family will be present at the June 19 ceremony. Nor have they confirmed whether the current king and queen will attend. There is intense media interest as to whether the king’s daughter, Cristina, and her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, will be present, given that both are currently caught up in a corruption scandal relating to the king’s son-in-law’s business affairs.

The palace has justified the vagueness of the details concerning the ceremony given the lack of precedent. “With the abdication, all we had in the Constitution were two lines of text,” a spokesman said. “The only abdication was that of Felipe V [in 1724], and that didn’t last long – his son died eight months later.”

The palace has justified the vague details over the ceremony given the lack of precedent

On the day of his coronation, Felipe VI will read a speech that will set the tone and the agenda for his reign. According to the Royal Household, Congressional speaker Jesús Posada is likely to read another speech beforehand.

After he becomes king, Felipe VI is expected to begin a presentation tour around Spain and several countries abroad. He will be accompanied by Princess Letizia, and is likely to visit Morocco, France and Portugal first.

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