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Video: King Felipe during his Christmas Eve address: Let’s believe in ourselves, let’s believe in Spain

Ahead of King Felipe’s Christmas Eve speech, Casa Real played a video of highlights from the royal year.

Then, His Majesty took to the screen to deliver his annual address from Zarzuela Palace.

The King reflected back that he gave his first address as King five years ago, and then he thanked Spaniards for letting him spend a few moments with them on the holiday.

“The first thing I want to do, of course, along with the Queen, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofía, is to wish you every happiness and peace over these days when we gather with our families and loved ones,” King Felipe said.

He continued, “And at this time we especially want to remember and send our love to the families and people most affected, and who have suffered the most, even tragically, from the floods in Spain in the last few days, as many more were over the course of the year.”

The King spoke of how the world is not living in easy times; there is low employment for the young and financial troubles for families. He cited that a lack of trust in institutions has not helped with problems, especially in Catalonia.

Of course, the November election was discussed as Spain still struggles to secure a prime minister and government. King Felipe said:

“I said at the beginning that these are not easy times; but I also believe that this is exactly why, more than ever, we must have faith in ourselves and in Spain, which has always made it through when we face the future with responsibility, generosity and rigour; with determination, but also calmly and thoughtfully. And we have plenty of reasons to have faith.

“Progress in a country depends largely on the character of its citizens, the strength of its society, and how well its government functions.”

His Majesty went on to honour the Spaniards he bestowed the Order of Merit with in June saying that he “could appreciate in person their generosity and spirit of solidarity.”

He spoke of living in a democracy and how Spain has come a long way in the world. “We can be very proud of the values which inspire our citizens, of the energy, vitality and dynamism of our society, and the solidity of our State. And I believe it is important to say it, not because of any misplaced self-esteem but because this is a proven reality which we should value,” the King remarked.

He did add that there “is undoubtedly much left for us to do, to improve and renew.”

King Felipe also stressed, “Time does not stand still and Spain cannot remain frozen or fail to keep up with events. It has to keep to its path, without isolating itself as it did in some past eras – it must keep looking forward and outward to find its way among the great social, scientific and educational changes the future will bring.

“The challenges facing us are not easy, but as we have so often in our recent history, I am sure we can overcome them. Let’s believe in ourselves, in our society; let’s believe in Spain and remain united in the democratic values we share to resolve our problems; without divisions or confrontations, which only erode our peaceful coexistence and impoverish our future.

“We have great potential as a country.”

The full speech can be read here.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. She's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.