Sunday 21 December 2014

Austerity coronation ruffles monarchists' feathers

Fiona Govan

Published 11/06/2014 | 02:30

Spain's Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia wait before a meeting with members of the Prince of Asturias Awards Foundation at the Royal Palace in Madrid. Reuters
Spain's Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia wait before a meeting with members of the Prince of Asturias Awards Foundation at the Royal Palace in Madrid. Reuters

Plans for an "austere" coronation of Crown Prince Felipe have been attacked by royalists, who fear that Spain is wasting an opportunity to project a positive image to the world.

No official plans have yet been announced for the coronation, which looks likely to happen on June 19, but it is understood that no foreign dignitaries will be invited, and Felipe VI will take the throne after a simple proclamation in front of politicians.

It is not clear whether King Juan Carlos will attend. Since he announced his decision to abdicate, anti-monarchy marches have taken place across Spain, with protesters calling for a referendum on the monarchy's future.

"Spain has taken the policy of austerity to the extent that it has been confused with keeping a low profile, and that threatens to tarnish the (royal) handover," wrote newspaper ABC yesterday. "Unless we see a sudden change in strategy that could save the celebration, Spain looks likely to miss out on a historic opportunity to project its image abroad."

Crown Prince Felipe (46) is said to want a simple handover, unlike the coronation of his father on the death of General Francisco Franco in 1975.

A small military procession will take place outside Madrid's parliament, but no religious service is scheduled. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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