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Italian diplomats and business leaders awarded King Juan Carlos today the 100th anniversary Tiepolo Award, meant to promote Spanish-Italian relations.

Organizers awarded Don Juan Carlos for his commitment to bilateral relations between the two countries and also his role in Spain’s transition to Democracy.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

King Juan Carlos, who recently abdicated and handed over power to his son King Felipe, was born in Italy while his parents were in exile.

But, like Queen Sofia, he has been making numerous public and private appearances.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were together again this week for church services in remembrance of the late Duchess of Alba, the woman with the most titles of nobility in the world.

funeral_duquesa_alba_20141215_04

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

The Madrid services were at the Royal Basilica of San Francisco El Grande, where Their Majesties offered their condolences to the Duchess’ widower and children.

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King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia near the altar. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Infanta Elena attended funeral services for the Duchess at the Seville Cathedral shortly after her death last month in official representation of the Crown.

Infanta Cristina this week gave a court in Palma de Mallorca almost 600,000 euros in restitution for potential civil violations.

Infanta Cristina’s husband, Iñaki Urdangarín, has for years been under investigation for allegations of using a non-profit company for personal gain through lucrative government contracts.

Urdangarín has denied responsibility and there has been a judicial tug-of-war over whether his wife should be implicated in the case.

The main focus of the Royal Household is keeping the King’s sister out of court, and her paying almost 600,000 euros may achieve that goal.

Infanta Cristina, Duchess of Palma. Photo courtesy Organization of American States via Flickr.

Infanta Cristina, Duchess of Palma. Photo courtesy Organization of American States via Flickr.

Spanish media outlets did not only focus on the payment this week, but on the fact that Infanta Cristina’s legal team originally deposited the money at the wrong court in Barcelona rather than Palma.

King Juan Carlos’ recent abdication and King Felipe’s proclamation has eased the controversy’s effect on the Royal Family.

That’s because Infanta Cristina is no longer a member of the nuclear Royal Family, but of a set of relatives known as the King’s Family.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia have made a handful of public appearances together in recent weeks, rebutting claims that the couple plans to formally separate.

Their Majesties attended the funeral today for Spanish-born former Belgian Queen Fabiola.

© Agencia EFE

King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. © Agencia EFE

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia may not have a close relationship, but the two appear committed to preventing further controversy about the Royal Family.

Recently the two attended the viewing at the Royal Palace in Madrid of a Royal Family portrait that has been 20 years in the making.

© Agencia EFE

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Recent public appearances show Queen Sofia’s continuing commitment to Spain following her husband’s abdication.

Queen Sofia presiding over awards ceremony against drug use. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Queen Sofia presiding over awards ceremony against drug use. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Queen Sofia presiding over poetry awards ceremony at the Royal Palace in Madrid. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Queen Sofia presiding over poetry awards ceremony at the Royal Palace in Madrid. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

King Felipe marked a milestone of his young reign this week by attending his first Ibero-American summit as Spanish head of state.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

King Felipe arrives in Mexico. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Don Felipe met with business and political leaders from around Latin America and the Iberian peninsula at the Veracruz, Mexico gathering.

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King Felipe with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

The Ibero-American summit is seem as a venue for Spanish international influence, plus interactions with its former colonies.

But lackluster turnout has prompted observers to recommend reforms to the summit, perhaps less frequent meetings.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Group picture. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Spain has strong economic and cultural ties to Latin America, something the Spanish Crown has been working to strengthen.

Before becoming King, Don Felipe was Spain’s official representative to presidential inaugurations in Latin America. It was a way for the former prince to become known in the region.

King Felipe last week made headlines by traveling to Catalonia for the second trip to the Spanish autonomous community of his reign.

King Felipe’s visit to Spanish car company SEAT S.A.’s factory in Martorell came as the Catalan government plans ways of seceding from Spain, or at least securing a vote on the issue.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Observers saw the image of King Felipe being behind the wheel of a SEAT car with Catalan President Artur Mas as deeply symbolic.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

His Majesty greeting factory workers. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

King Felipe has promised to make more trips to Catalonia.

King Felipe VI stressed the need to promote economic growth this week during a two-day official visit to Germany.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

King Felipe and Queen Letizia walk through the Brandenburg Gate accompanied by German and Spanish officials. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

King Felipe, who met with German President Joachim Gauck and Chancellor Angela Merkel, said during remarks that economic growth was necessary for the credibility of institutions and European integration.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Their Majesties with Chancellor Merkel. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

On Tuesday King Felipe flew to North Rhine-Westphalia where he continued meeting with German leaders and visiting businesses.

One stop included operations of Spanish automotive giant Gestamp Automoción S.L.

There, King Felipe said that despite economic difficulties, efforts at promoting innovation and social dialogue were bearing fruit.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

King greets well-wishers outside plant. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

The automotive sector is among the most important in the Spanish economy.

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