Christmas speech of His Majesty. 2009
The Royal Family traditionally celebrates Christmas Eve together at La Zarzuela Palace. The Prince of Asturias, the Infantas Elena and Cristina, their spouses after they married and their children spend the evening with Their Majesties, their aunts Princess Irene, the Infantas Pilar and Margarita and their families. However, this year, after the informations published involving the Duke of Palma de Mallorca with a corruption scandal, the Infanta Cristina and her family will spend the Christmas season in Washington DC instead of travelling to Spain. Likewise, the Infanta Pilar and her growing family(five children, their partners and ex-partners, numerous grandchildren…) realised it was easier to organise everyone in the Infanta’s house, and like last year, the Gómez-Acebo family will celebrate Christmas Eve on their own. Unlike last year, the Infanta Margarita, the Duke of Soria and their two children will spend the evening with the King’s eldest sister.
Because of this, the gathering at the Palace will be the smallest one in years, the Prince and Princess of Asturias, the Infantas Leonor, Sofía and Elena and Felipe and Victoria de Marichalar y Borbón will be the only Spanish guests of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía. The dinner is usually served as a buffet, that way no service is needed and they are able to have dinner with their families.
Every year, at nine pm all the open TV channels broadcast the King’s speech. We can watch it live here. Each year, there is a different picture on a table near Don Juan Carlos, representing a special event for Spain or the Royal Family that took place that year.
The Prince and Princess of Asturias and their daughters spend Christmas Day with Princess Letizia’s mother and her family, usually at their residence near La Zarzuela Palace. Until this year, the Duke and Duchess of Palma spent Christmas Day in Vitoria with Iñaki’s family, and since the divorce, the Marichalar children have lunch with their father’s family while the Infanta Elena stays with her parents and with her aunt Princess Irene of Greece.
This year, the Royal Family will participate in an official event during the Christmas Holidays. On the 27th, the King and Queen and the Prince and Princess of Asturias will inaugurate the Legislature with a ceremony at the Congress of Deputies.
According to some press outlets, this year there was a complete change of tradition and the Prince and Princess of Asturias celebrated Christmas Eve with Doña Letizia’s family and Christmas Day with Their Majesties and the Infanta Doña Elena.
Photo: EFE/El País