Despite Spain’s dramatic football world cup loss the night before, the city was definitely in a party mood with the royal parade through the streets drawing huge crowds of Spanish flag-waving supporters. Before the new King, his wife Queen Letizia and daughters Princess Leonor and Princess Sofia gathered on the balcony of the historic royal palace to greet the crowds of well-wishers.
A relatively young king at just 46, it’s hoped the new reigning family will find favour with the Spanish public and restore the faith of a country whose spirits were dampened not only by the economic crisis, but also recent scandals that plagued the former king. Although the coronation ceremony and parade were kept deliberately low-key in respect for Spain’s economic situation, coronation souvenirs have popped up for sale around the city displaying the faces of the new king and queen. Overnight giant billboards bearing their faces also adorned the plazas around the palace with cries of ‘Viva Espana’ and ‘Long live the King’ greeting their likenesses.
Married for a decade already, it’s clear this royal couple is a solid one and their eldest daughter Leonor is now the youngest direct heir to a European throne at just eight years old. This new royal family will no doubt face many challenges ahead of them, but as King Felipe said today when he addressed the nation in his debut speech as King “This is the start of a renewed monarchy for a new time.”