HM the King’s Household receives a yearly financial amount from the State Budget. In words of the Royal Household, this budget assignation is
intended to fund the staff and functioning costs directly payable by H.M. The King’s Household, as well the maintenance of the Royal Family. The objective of this budget assignation is to ensure that the Office of the Head of State possesses a sufficient budgetary allowance for the Head of State to be able to perform his duties with the independence that is inherent to his Constitutional functions.
The King may freely dispose of this sum to finance the Royal Household, which, like other Constitutional Bodies(e.g., the Congress and the Senate) is not subject to examination by the Court of Auditors. Nevertheless, H.M. The King’s Household does have a Comptroller, belonging to the Corps of Comptrollers and Auditors of the State Administration.
After Iñaki Urdangarín’s involvement in a corruption scandal and in “the spirit of transparency and modern times” according to La Zarzuela, the Household published a breakdown of the 2011 budget. It was the first time since 1979 that the King’s salary was made public.
The document, which can be consulted in Spanish at their website, starts with a bar chart displaying the evolution of the financial amount received by the King’s Household in the last five years. It also explains how a 2.2% of the amount perceived in 2010 was turned to the treasury to help Spain’s budget deficit and how the allocated sum for 2011 was reduced a 5.2% from the previous year. The overall amount for 2011 was € 8,434,280.
The Royal Household is also fully subject to current legislation regarding labour and taxation matters, and all members of the Royal Family are obliged to pay all due taxes, for which purpose they annually submit income tax returns and meet their tax obligations. The salaries paid by the King’s Household are fixed and regulated like their peers in other ministries and government bodies. In a pie chart, they explain how the allocated sum is distributed:
- The biggest portion of the budget (47.89% of the total sum or € 4,039,000) is used to pay the personnel salaries(the ones directly paid by the Royal Household, the Head of the Household, the General Secretary, the Head of the Military Chamber, the management staff, 2 civil servants and 5 other employees), the staff’s social security contributions and social provisions and bonus and overtime for all employees, the ones paid directly by the King’s Household, and the ones paid by other government bodies.
- The second most important item (38.83% of the total sum or € 3,275,000) is used to finance the running costs of goods and services, including renting of equipment, expenses of repairs and upkeep of vehicles and small machinery, office supplies, insurances, the hiring of consultancy firms and services companies, luncheons, dinners and receptions offered by the Royal Family, transport, board and accommodation expenses for the Household personnel when needed…
- A 2.44% of the total budget (€ 206,152) is destined to cover unplanned expenses (e.g., a bolt of lighting striking La Zarzuela) Last year this money was used for the expenses caused by the King’s operation in a public hospital: the extra staff needed, the catering, the disturbance his presence caused in the clinic (a wing was cleared for security concerns) If the amount is not needed, it is used for other uncovered expenses, e.g., to replace glassware.
- The smallest item, 1.19% of the yearly assignation (€ 100,000) is used for office and information technology equipment, software licenses….
- Lastly, the Royal Family receives a 9.65% of the allotted money (€ 814,128) HM the King has a yearly salary of € 140,519 and an extra assignation to cover representation expenses of € 152,233. After taxes(45%), the total amount His Majesty received in 2011, combining salary and representation expenses, was € 161,013.6. HRH the Prince of Asturias receives half this sum. His yearly salary is € 70,259 with € 76,117 destined to cover the representation expenses. After paying taxes( 40%), the total amount(salary plus representation expenses) was € 87,825.6. The Queen, the Princess of Asturias and the Infantas Doña Elena and Doña Cristina do not receive a salary. His Majesty distributes an amount set aside for them every year in order to cover their representation expenses. For 2011, the total amount was € 375, 000. Neither the Duke of Palma de Mallorca nor Don Jaime de Marichalar while he was the Infanta Doña Elena’s husband have ever received money from the King’s Household’s budget.
What royal expenses are not covered with this yearly assignation?
- The State and official visits undertaken by the Royal Family. These trips are paid by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and for 2011 €415,050 were set apart for 15 trips.
- The Palaces, buildings and residences belonging to the State, by law, are maintained by the autonomous agency Patrimonio Nacional (National Heritage). La Zarzuela Palace belongs to the State and thus, the bulk of its upkeep is paid by National Heritage. As the agency does not disclose the spendings on the different palaces, it is not possible to know how much La Zarzuela’s maintenance costs.
- H.M. The King’s Household is no exception from other Constitutional bodies and Ministries in that its security expenses are met by the Interior Ministry. All of them, for obvious reasons, are unknown.
- Likewise, those expenses concerning official vehicles and their drivers correspond to the State Transport Service (Ministry of Economy and Finance). They do not disclose the amounts spent on the different bodies and administrations.
- The salaries of most civil servants working at the Household are paid by the Presidency Ministry. However, bonus and overtime are paid by the King’s Household.
HRH the Prince of Asturias travels to Brazil for the presidential inauguration of Her Excellency Ms Dilma Vana Rouseff.
HM the King receives Mr. Li Keqiang, First-ranking Vice-Premier and deputy Party secretary of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, in audience.
TM the King and Queen, accompanied by TRH the Prince and Princess of Asturias, offer a luncheon to Their Excellencies the President and the First Lady of Hungary.
TM the King and Queen with TE the President and the First Lady of Hungary attend a concert commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Hungarian composer Ferenç Liszt to celebrate Hungary’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
HM the King receives Latin America’s Tourism Ministers in audience.
HRH the Prince of Asturias receives Mr. Luis G. Fortuño, Governor of Puerto Rico, in audience.
HRH the Prince of Asturias receives Mr. Emilio González Suárez, Governor of Jalisco, in audience.
HM the King granted nine audiences in January, and besides the foreign diplomats and politicians mentioned above, His Majesty received, among others, Mr. Josef Ackermann, CEO of Deutsche Bank; D. Pascual Sala Sánchez, President of Spain’s Constitutional Court or Mr. Vladimir Yakunin, President of the state-run Russian Railways company.
HM the Queen granted two audiences, the Prince of Asturias granted six and the Princess of Asturias five.
TM the King and Queen and TRH the Prince and Princess of Asturias presided over the Pascua Militar Ceremony on January 6th.
-On the occasion of D. Plácido Domingo 70th birthday, Their Majesties offered a lunch for D. Plácido and his wife. The Queen also attended his birthday gala at the Royal Theatre.
-Their Majesties and the Prince and Princess of Asturias hosted the annual reception for foreign ambassadors at the Royal Palace.
-Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Asturias opened the Library and Archive of Galicia, from the planned City of Culture.
This is not a complete review of the Royal Family official events, for the complete list, check casareal.es
Photo: Daylife/Getty Images
The read, listen or watch the message and download the text as pdf file –> casareal.es
Before the speech, the Spanish National Television broadcasts every year an overview of the Royal Family that year. Watch the 2011 video here.
The anticipation was high and Don Juan Carlos did not disappoint. Today the television news bulletins opened their broadcasts with His Majesty’s speech and the newspapers opinion columns praise the Royal Household and the King. When asked for his opinion, the secretary of the Socialist Political Party, Marcelino Iglesias, said: “Once again, the King knows how to rise above the circumstances”
This year, the picture on the table next to King Juan Carlos showed His Majesty with the former president of the government, Don José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and the recently elected Don Mariano Rajoy Brey. The photo, which has been in a prominent position next to the King since 2002 and a staple in the Christmas message since the 1990’s, usually represents a significant event for Spain or the Royal Family.
His Majesty starts by wishing us peace and happiness and in the thirteen minute speech he talks of the financial crisis and the unemployment affecting Spain, Spain’s European inclination, his role as Head of State uniting Spaniards and wills and the long and difficult walk towards recovery. In the middle of the speech, Don Juan Carlos makes some comments of “irregular behaviours” and how “any untoward action must be judged and punished according to the law.” These comments have been understood as a veiled mention to Iñaki Urdangarín’s “non exemplary behaviour” The King continues with ETA and demands they give up their weapons, remembers the terrorism victims and the general elections that took place in November and after thanking the Spaniards for worrying about his recovered health and before his farewell good wishes, His Majesty praises his son and heir, the Prince of Asturias.
Read more: Editorial from El País in English: A royal example
ABC.es: La foto del relevo
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
The Prince of Girona Foundation has the Prince of Asturias and Girona as honorary president, and was born with a twofold mission: to provide support and training to young people and to assist in the resolution of the social problems of our area. The Foundation focuses its action and projects on four spheres: the social and cooperation area, the scientific and academic area, the business area, and the cultural and sports area.
The Prince of Girona Foundation was constituted on 26 June 2009 as a response of the Spanish Royal Household to the initiative of the Girona Chamber of Commerce, Caixa Girona, the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation and “la Caixa” to establish a foundation with the main mission of promoting the education and training of youth and of attending to social issues.
The Foundation had already been presented in Seville, Saragossa, Bilbao and Madrid, but this was the first presentation in Catalonia. The ceremony was attended by the President of Catalonia, Artur Mas; the Minister of Education, Ángel Gabilondo; the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trías and the President of the Prince of Girona Foundation, Antoni Esteve. During the ceremony Doctor Rolf Tarrach, Rector of the University of Luxembourg, former President of the Higher Council of Scientific Research and member of the Advisory Council of the Prince of Girona Foundation, gave a conference on youth, education and employment.
Before the start of the presentation, the Patronage of the Foundation met and approved the action plan for 2012.
Photos: Casa de Su Majestad el Rey/Borja Fotógrafos, Fundación Príncipe de Girona
On November 20, General Elections were held in Spain. The General Elections are held for the National Legislature (the Congress of Deputies and the Senate that run for a maximum of four years). The ceremonial of the beginning of each Legislature is regulated by law, and the King plays a key role.
First of all, as the opposition party won the elections, the main members of the Royal Family hosted a farewell luncheon for the outgoing government on December 13 at the Royal Palace:
That same afternoon, the newly appointed President of the Congress of Deputies went to La Zarzuela Palace to inform His Majesty of the formation of the Congress and its different organs. After this audience, King Juan Carlos received the new President of the Senate, who did the same regarding the formation of the Upper House.
Over the next two days the King received in audience representatives of the political parties with parliamentary representation.
After meeting with representatives from all political parties, His Majesty once again received the President of the Congress of Deputies to propose Don Mariano Rajoy Brey for president of the government. The candidate will inform the Congress of his plans for government and will need the approval of the Lower House.
Photos: Daylife/Getty Images, Casa de Su Majestad el Rey/Borja Fotógrafos
The Royal Household has released the Christmas Cards from King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía, the Prince and Princess of Asturias and the Infantas Elena and Cristina.
The King and Queen’s card shows their usual nativity scene, this time a miniature from Gerard David’s “Liber Horarum” kept in the Library of the Royal Monastery of El Escorial.
On the inside of the card Their Majesties wish us a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2012:
The Prince and Princess of Asturias have chosen a family photo taken in their house, with the gardens as background:
On the inside of the card, the family wishes us a Merry Christmas and a hopeful new year. It’s also the first time we see the Infantas signatures:
The Infanta Elena has chosen a photo taken by Her Royal Highness of her children and the family dog:
The family wishes us a Happy Christmas in Spanish, English and French:
And lastly, the Infanta Cristina has chosen a picture of the family taken during Miguel’s First Communion at La Zarzuela Palace earlier this year:
The whole family signs the card:
Cards: Casa de Su Majestad el Rey
Official Visit to Chile Day 1-Part1
Official Visit to Chile Day 1-Part 2
On November 23 Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia opened a exhibition in the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Spanish artist Chema Mádoz, who won Spain’s Nationl Prize of Photography in 2000. The Chilean Minister of Culture and actor, Luciano Cruz-Coke; Santiago’s Mayor, actress Delfina Guzmán , the President of Spanish Cultural Action, Charo Otegui, writer Pablo Simonetti and the artist Chema Mádoz were all waiting for the Prince and Princess, who arrived at 11:30 a.m. Twenty minutes later, Cecilia Morel, the First Lady, arrived and the exhibit was officially opened. Don Felipe and Doña Letizia also opened the Museum’s restored porch, as the old one was affected by the 2010 earthquake.
After the visit to the Museum, the Prince and Princess of Asturias had lunch at the Residence of Spain’s Ambassador in Chile with Chilean intellectuals like the writer Antonio Skármeta; the movie director Matías Bize; the former minister Juan Gabriel Valdés; the manager of the Latinobarómetro Marta Lagos; the former senator Carlos Ominami; the lawyer and president of the “Comunidad Mujer” NGO, Esperanza Cueto; the journalists Tamara Avetikian and Constanza Santa María; the mathematician Eric Goles; the businessman Jorge Andrés Saieh and the director of the “Hogar de Cristo” NGO, Susana Tonda.
In the afternoon, Their Royal Highnesses had a meeting with members of the Chile-Spain Foundation. The Foundation promotes exchanges between both countries.
The final engagement took place at six o’clock in the evening, when Don Felipe and Doña Letizia received the Spanish community living in Chile for a cocktail and a reception. After the Prince gave an speech thanking them for attending and delivering greetings from Their Majesties the couple shook everybody’s hands and stayed around 45 minutes at the reception.
Around a quarter past nine, the Prince and Princess arrived in Antofagasta, in the North of Chile, where the Royal Couple will continue their visit.
Photos: Soy Chile/Sigfrido Carrasco, Daylife, Casa de S.M. el Rey/Borja Fotógrafos, Diez Minutos
After the events of the morning, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia visited the headquarters of the Congress in Santiago (the current Parliament meets in Valparaiso). Their Royal Highnesses, after being received by a Honor Guard, met with the President of the Senate, Guido Guirardi, members of the Senate’s Committee of Foreign Affairs and senators from the Group of Friends of Chile-Spain.
After the meeting with the Senators Don Felipe, Doña Letizia and the official delegation had a meeting with the President of the House of Deputies, Patricio Melero with MPs of the Committee of Foreign Affairs and the Group of Friends Chile-Spain.
At the end of the visit, Melero explained that the conversation with the Prince had focused on “the importance Spain gives to its relations with Chile” and “the need to strengthen trade, political and cultural ties between the two countries.”
Melero, in name of the Congress, gave the Prince and Princess the following presents, a couple of silver spurs, a lapis lazuli necklace and a dedicated book commemorating the bicentenary of the Parliament.
After the meetings they visited the building and left after another guard of honor around six o’clock in the evening.
The day ended with an official dinner scheduled for 20:15 at the Presidential Palace, La Moneda, with President Piñera and his wife Cecilia Morel.
- Terra Chile
- Cámara de diputados de Chile
- La Nación
- Diez Minutos
- Mujer de Élite
- Mujer Hoy
Keep reading: Official Visit of Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia to the Republic of Chile- Day 1: Morning
Photos: Terra Noticias Chile, Diez Minutos, Cámara de Diputados de Chile, Daylife/Reuters, Bekia, Casa de S.M. el Rey/Borja Fotógrafos