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A solemn military display opens celebrations for King Felipe’s milestone anniversary

To mark the 10th anniversary of his reign, King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofía have two days of scheduled engagements, that started in the morning of Wednesday, 19th June with a solemn changing of the guard performed by the Guardia Real.

At 11:15am, King Felipe and Queen Letizia, accompanied by Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofía, made their entrance in the Plaza de Oriente at the Royal Palace of Madrid. As their cars entered the square, the Royal Guard’s music unit played the National Anthem, and there was a 21-gun salute. 

The four royals then entered the Royal Palace, and they appeared shortly after at the balcony that faces the square from the Throne Room. From there, they observed as tho units of the Royal Guard exchanged their roles, at the sound of military marches played by their music unit. 

Once the event finalised, the royals went back inside the Palace for the rest of the day’s events.

As remarked by many commentators and journalists covering the day’s events, this was the first time that the balcony has been used in a very long time. With the Spanish Monarchy’s notorious aversion to balcony appearances, this is not new. 

But the use of a balcony instead of a Royal podium to watch the ceremony had some wondering if this means a gradual shift towards more frequent balcony appearances for the Spanish Royals, at least for important occasions. 

King Felipe and Queen Letizia had made their previous balcony appearance 10 years ago, after King Felipe’s proclamation in front of a joint session of Parliament. 

The Royal Palace has announced 2 days of events to mark the 10th anniversary of King Felipe’s proclamation, with Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofía set to visit the Royal Galleries this afternoon.