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Infanta Elena carries out rare public engagements

Infanta Elena has carried out two rare public engagements on behalf of the Spanish Royal Family last week. 

King Felipe’s oldest sister stepped out to preside over the awards ceremony for the “School contest for youth and child and youth painting”, organised by Patrimonio Nacional. 

On Thursday, 6th June, Her Royal Highness arrived at the Royal Collection Galleries in Madrid, where she was welcomed by State and local authorities, including the President of the Administration Council of Patrimonio Nacional. 

Once inside the Gallery’s Auditorium, Infanta Elena listened as the event’s speaker read out the jury’s verdicts on the award winners, before stepping on stage to hand out the awards. 

After interventions from representatives of the jury and the award winners, a musical moment, and the traditional group photograph, Infanta Elena was escorted through a tour of the exhibition showcasing all of this year’s participating art pieces. 

Meanwhile, on Sunday, 9th June, Infanta Elena presided over the traditional corrida of the San Isidro Fair, which took place in Las Ventas’ Plaza de Toros. 

This particular corrida originated in Felipe II’s era (1527-1598), when the then-king decided that every year a corrida should take place, with all profits being donated to General Hospital. Back then, the institution took care of the more vulnerable members of society, who otherwise could not have afforded medical care. after being suspended for several years, the first charity Gran Corrida in the modern history took place in 1856. 

Sat in the Royal Box with Infanta Elena were Madrid’s Mayor, with the Capital being the host of the event, as well as other local authorities and representatives of the corrida’s organisation team. 

At the end of the event, King Felipe’s sister took the crowd’s cheers, as well as congratulating the bullfighters who took part in the corrida, and posed for a picture. 

It has become increasingly rare to see Infanta Elena out on official duty; this is because, according to Spanish Royal rules, once King Felipe took the throne, his sisters ceased to form part of the Spanish royal family – meaning that they do not have an official agenda and don’t receive public funding. This will also be the case for Infanta Sofía once Princess Leonor becomes Queen.