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CoronavirusSpain

Spain’s future queen shows support for pandemic rebuild

King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor, Infanta Sofia
Casa de S. M. el Rey

Princess Leonor, heir to the throne of Spain, has joined her parents on their tour around the country to show support for the economy and tourism in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The teenage princess enjoyed an evening of culture with her family as their visits to Spanish regions continued.

Leonor, who is now fourteen, and her thirteen year old sister, Infanta Sofia, began their latest engagement by greeting the wellwishers that had turned out to see the royals as they arrived in Merida, Extramadura, on July 22nd 2020. They greeted officials, alongside their parents King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, and spoke to those waiting to see them although social distancing was maintained at all times.

Princess Leonor is given an overview of the Roman Art Museum by its Director, Trinidad Nogales
(Casa de S.M. el Rey)

The royal party then headed to the National Museum of Roman Art in Merida where they were given a tour and heard about the crucial role the area played during the Roman era in Spain.

King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia then walked through the Roman Crypt tunnel to the amphitheatre of Merida for an evening performance of the Greek tragedy Antigone. They received a warm reception on arrival and took their seats in the main box for the performance of the David Gaitan interpretation of Antigone.

King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor, Infanta Sofia
Queen Letizia and her daughters used traditional Spanish fans as evening temperatures in Merida hovered around 20 Celsius
(Casa de S.M. el Rey)

Afterwards, the royal party met the actors and production crew involved in the show.

The King, Queen and their two daughters then headed back the the Parador in central Merida. The paradores are a string of almost 100 luxury hotels spread across Spain and often located in historic buildings. They were the idea of King Alfonso XIII, King Felipe’s great grandfather, who helped establish the first one in 1928 to promote tourism in Spain. The parador in Merida is a former 18th century convent built on Roman ruins.

The Royal Family were greeted by more wellwishers as they left the hotel on July 23rd 2020 at the end of their stay in Merida.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia have been touring different parts of Spain for the past few weeks to show royal support as the country begins to reopen following the coronavirus pandemic. However, their visits have taken place in the shadow of controversy over the financial affairs of Felipe’s father, King Juan Carlos, who is under investigation over corruption allegations.

The response to this latest visit was positive although King Felipe and Queen Letizia have encountered protesters in their last two trips, to the Basque Country and Catalonia.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is 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, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. 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.