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King Felipe sees Spain’s Prime Minister sworn in after controversy and protests

King Felipe has overseen the swearing in of Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, for a new term but the appointment follows a time of controversy which has led to division across the country.

Pedro Sanchez was officially appointed to the role again at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid on the morning of November 17th 2023 with Spain’s King in attendance.

Felipe VI looked solemn as the PSOE leader took his oath and didn’t smile during the official photo call that followed the pledge.

Just days earlier, hundreds of thousands of people had protested in cities across Spain against the political deal which saw Pedro Sanchez returned to power. He has formed a coalition to retain control of parliament and among the deals made to secure backing from different parties is a promise of an amnesty for separatist leaders in Catalonia.

Protests against the planned coalition have been ongoing since Felipe VI first asked Pedro Sanchez to look at forming a government. His party had actually come second in the general elections held in Spain earlier in 2023. The conservative Partido Popular had won the most seats but not a majority and had been unable to form a government. The Spanish Royal Household said that, under the Constitution, King Felipe had to turn to the second placed party to ask them to try and form an administration.

However, the move has proved unpopular in some parts and Felipe VI has found the royal family of Spain coming in for criticism, too, as the coalition formed and appeared to hold.

The King and Queen of Spain have carried out a few duties in recent days while Queen Sofia has carried out a series of engagements and was holding audiences at the Zarzuela within minutes of the political event concluding.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.