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Spain

King Felipe urges unity in hard hitting Christmas speech

The King of Spain has urged his country to come together in a hard hitting Christmas speech.

Speaking from the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid on Christmas Eve, King Felipe said he wanted to use his address to defend the country’s Constitution which he said had given Spain the strengths it enjoys today.

At the end of a year which has seen protests in many cities against the formation of the new government, the Spanish king said ”all citizens have the right to think, speak and defend their ideas freely and with respect for others. But democracy also requires a basic and broad consensus as to the principles we share and which have united us for generations.”

King Felipe continued ‘‘this unity, which has deep historical and cultural roots, must rest above all on the values governing all democratic co-existence: freedom, justice, equality and political pluralism. These are the values which bring us together, which give strength and permanence to a democratic system like ours.”

But it was Spain’s Constitution that took a starring role in this speech which King Felipe delivered in front a photo of his heir, Princess Leonor, swearing her allegiance to it on the day she came of age, October 31st 2023.

The King of Spain said ”thanks to the Constitution, we were able to overcome the division which has been the cause of many mistakes in our history, which opened wounds….and drew people apart. Overcoming this division…was our wisest choice…so preventing discord from ever taking root among us is a moral duty we all share. We can’t let it happen.”

And he returned to the theme of unity, saying ”the ultimate reasons for our successes and progress in recent history is the very unity of our country, based on our democratic values and cohesion….I have no doubt that unity will also be the key enabling us to successfully deal with the serious and complex future now facing Spain.”

King Felipe said ”Spain will go on. With determination, with hope, we will do it together, aware of our historical and present reality, of our truth as a nation.”

And he promised ”The Crown will always be on that path with you: not just because it is my duty as King, but also because it is my conviction.”

King Felipe ended by thanking all those working through Christmas to help others and, as is traditional, sent festive greetings in several languages of his country. It was another reminder of the importance he placed on unity despite differences.

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.