Their Royal Highnesses Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofía of Spain joined their parents, King Felipe and Queen Letizia, for the first time, at the opening session of Parliament at the Palace of Cortes today.
The last public engagement of Their Royal Highnesses was on National Day for Spain where they accompanied their parents at the military parade that took place between the Plaza del Emperador Carlos V and Plaza de Colón.
Upon their arrival, the royals were greeted by government officials. His Majesty reviewed the troops before the start of the ceremony.
The Spanish Monarchy said in a press release, “The XII Legislature began with the celebration of the constitutive session on 19 July. The Solemn Opening of the Legislature takes place once the Congress of Deputies has approved the investiture of the President of the Government and the members of the Executive have taken possession of their positions before the Head of the State.”
His Majesty gave a speech before declaring the XII Constitutional Legislature open, and afterward, the President of the Congress of Deputies concluded the session for the day.
King Felipe told the assembled politicians from Cortes Generales, “On this occasion, I would like to congratulate the honourable Members and Senators on the great honour and responsibility of representing the legitimate representation of the Spanish people.” Cortes Generales is the name of the Spanish legislature.
He then added, “And I would also like to convey my gratitude, respect and consideration to all the representatives of the political groups who have participated in the constitutional consultation process for their sincere and responsible collaboration in the task entrusted to me by the Constitution.”
He also touched on the political deadlock that had paralyzed the Spanish government for the past six months, “And now, once the Spanish people have freely expressed themselves at the polls, and the Congress of Deputies has proceeded to the investiture of the President of the Government, Spain already has a Government in full exercise of its functions to carry out its responsibilities . It also puts an end to a complex situation that began after the general elections in December last year.”
His Majesty made sure to remind those elected about their duties to the Spanish citizens, “From now on, as you well know, it is up to you to fulfil the mandate you have received from the citizens. And much of what our citizens are expecting today from the political forces and all its institutions.”
At the beginning of the month, His Majesty presided over the ceremony swearing in Mariano Rajoy Brey as the Prime Minister of Spain at Zarzuela Palace. This came after ten months of political deadlock over the formation of a new government. Brey, a member of the conservative People’s Party, was voted the new prime minister. He secured enough votes to remain as the prime minister by a total of 170 Member of Parliament (MP) votes to 111 MP votes.