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Another airplane malfunction — the fifth in recent months for Spanish VIP jets — delayed King Juan Carlos’ return from the Middle East.

Kuwaiti authorities offered the King one of their jets, but ended up not needing it.

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

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

His Majesty was able to be in Spain in time for the final of the King’s Cup in Valencia between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

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

King presenting the cup to team leader Iker Casillas. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

 

 

King Juan Carlos is on an official visit to the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait this week, looking to further cement ties with the Persian Gulf nations and promote economic cooperation.

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

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

The King has for decades been keen on developing a personal relationship with Middle Eastern royals to lobby for economic opportunities for Spanish firms.

Over the weekend Queen Sofia, who is a big fan of classical music, attended a performance of Verdi’s Requiem at the Toledo Cathedral in honor of the deal of painter El Greco.

Queen Sofia with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Queen Sofia with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

And this evening, Her Majesty was in the Balearic Islands at the Mallorca Cathedral for another concert, this one to benefit drug treatment and abuse prevention.

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Also in recent weeks, the Royal Household announced that Queen Sofia will have a new chief of staff beginning in October — Arturo Luis Coello Villanueva.

Villanueva will replace José Cabrera García, who will retire after three decades in service to the Crown.

The gossip surrounding the Spanish Royal Family grew dramatically this week with the release of a new book by Spanish historian and Royal chronicler Pilar Urbano.

Essentially she says the King tried to oust former Prime Minister Adolfo Suárez, who recently died.

As a result, she says, the Don Juan Carlos inadvertently sparked the infamous 1981 coup attempt, which the King is credited with having put down.

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Spain’s Royal Household and its political establishment have dismissed the allegations and have come in the King’s defense.

Also this week media outlets reported reforms aimed at making litigation against Queen Sofia, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia go straight to the Supreme Court.

Queen Sofia touring a biological reserve this week. © Agencia EFE

Queen Sofia touring a biological reserve this week.
© Agencia EFE

King Juan Carlos cannot be taken to court. He is, by the Constitution, inviolable.

King Juan Carlos this week awarded Enrique V. Iglesias by inducting him into the Order of the Golden Fleece.

Iglesias, of Spanish and Uruguayan citizenship, is the Ibero-American Secretary General, and has worked for closer relationships between Iberia and Latin America.

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

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

Queen Sofia, Prince Felipe, Princess Letizia and Infanta Elena were also on hand at the ceremony, held at the Madrid Royal Palace’s Hall of Columns.

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

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

Queen Sofia also visited the Royal Palace this week to attend the Royal Guard’s Changing of the Guard ceremony.

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

Her Majesty viewing the event from the Throne Room balcony. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

The ceremony is a weekly event popular with tourists and other visitors.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia this week attended the State Funeral of former Prime Minister Suárez González at Almudena Cathedral in Madrid.

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

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

Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia were also in attendance.

Suárez was the frist Prime Minister that King Juan Carlos appointed after the death of military ruler Francisco Franco.

King Juan Carlos today mourned the death of Adolfo Suárez, the first Prime Minister of the post Franco era.

King's message today.

King’s message today.

Suárez was a key player in the King’s effort to restore Spanish Democracy.

He came to power after King Juan Carlos fired Franco holdover Carlos Arias Navarro.

Then the King’s loyalist made sure Suárez was on the list of acceptable candidates for the Monarch to chose from, as the old system mandated.

Suárez taking the oath. © Agencia EFE

Suárez taking the oath.
© Agencia EFE

Soon the King and Suárez, who later became a Duke, called elections and began liberalizing Spanish politics. The rest is history.

Today the King called the transition a “chapter that gave way to the period of great economic, social and political process.”

Updates

On Monday King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia and Infanta Elena met with various current and former Spanish leaders at the Congress building to remember Suárez.

20140324 capilla ardiente suarez 02

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

His Majesty, after swift approval by the government, granted Suárez the collar of the Royal Order of Charles III. He was already a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

20140324 capilla ardiente suarez 07

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

Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia also went to pay their respects.

Later in the week, the Prince and Princess attended funeral services for the mayor of Bilbao.

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

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

Queen Sofia landed late at Torrejón field near Madrid because of problems with her Spanish Air Force VIP airplane.

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Queen Sofia takes to the streets in Guatemala.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

The Queen was returning from a week-long tour of Guatemala, where she met with local leaders, Spaniards and toured projects aided by Spanish development funds.

Queen Sofia greeting a market vendor's baby. © Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Queen Sofia greeting a market vendor’s baby.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Media reports indicate this was the fourth recent problem with Spanish VIP jets for government or royal travel. One of the forced Prince Felipe to put off a trip to Brazil.

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