Felipe VI pays tribute to father as he presides first Pascua Militar

King also thanks the armed forces as he oversees military ceremony dating back to 1782

Felipe VI and Letizia preside the Pascua Militar for the first time on Tuesday.
Felipe VI and Letizia preside the Pascua Militar for the first time on Tuesday.Juan Carlos Hidalgo / EFE

King Felipe VI on Tuesday presided his first Pascua Militar, a military ceremony dating back to the 18th century, delivering a dual message of gratitude to Spain’s armed forces and to his father Juan Carlos.

Dressed in military uniform, the monarch reviewed the troops at Madrid’s Royal Palace and asked the armed forces to “keep working with the same selflessness, discipline and loyalty for our great nation.”

Felipe offered his father “the tribute of gratitude and respect that he deserves from us all”

“I know the efforts required to maintain operational capacity,” said Felipe VI, who studied in a military academy as a young man and holds the rank of commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Felipe VI, who became king of Spain in June last year, also had words of praise for his father Juan Carlos and offered him “the tribute of gratitude and respect that he deserves from us all.”

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The monarch’s first speech of the year was part of a ceremony that dates back to January 6, 1782, when King Carlos III congratulated the Spanish troops for reconquering Menorca from the English.

Felipe VI and Queen Letizia were alone in representing the Spanish crown, even though the king’s parents, Juan Carlos and Sofía, were in Madrid at the time.

The troop review took place inside the Plaza de la Armería in front of the palace, where the national anthem was played and 21 cannon shots fired, following tradition.

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