Felipe VI has been proclaimed the new king of Spain. A new chapter in Spanish history was formally marked with a low-key ceremony at the Palace of Zarazuela, located on the outskirts of Madrid, at 9.30am local time.The new monarch officially acceded to the throne on the stroke of midnight on Wednesday, following the abdication of his father, King Juan Carlos.
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King Felipe of Spain and his father King Juan Carlos
Despite the importance and formality of the ceremony, it remained a touching family affair.Proudly watching as Felipe was proclaimed king was his queen Letizia, elegant in a white dress coat by her favourite designer Felipe Varela, and their two daughters, Princess Sofia and Princess Leonor – the future of Spain’s monarchy.
King Felipe embraces his wife Queen Letizia after receiving the royal sash
The king's first act was to officially receive the royal sash from his father. The two men then touchingly embraced as their family applauded. Felipe, dressed in his blue military uniform, then walked over to his loved ones, including his mother Queen Sofia, and kissed them all, while Juan Carlos shook hands with officials.
King Felipe and King Juan Carlos shake hands in the Palace of Zarazuela
Spain's new monarch was officially proclaimed king after promising to uphold the constitution. After a few precious moments together as a family, and their first official pictures, Felipe and his wife then left the Palace and headed to the Congress of Deputies, accompanied by their children, for the swearing-in ceremony and Felipe’s first speech as king.Juan Carlos decided not to attend to ensure all attention was on his son.
Spain's royal family
There were magnificent scenes outside the Parliament building ahead of the royal family's arrival as the armed forces paraded into formation. Spain's premiere family slowly processed through the streets of Madrid in two black Rolls Royces, Felipe and Letizia riding in the first car, and their daughters closely behind. Their route was lined with members of the public, waving flags and cheering as the cars drove by.
The swearing-in ceremony took place on a stage in the Congress of Deputies in front of government officials. The new king and his family were applauded warmly by all those gathered to witness the historic event, including Queen Sofia and Infanta Elena.
King Felipe swears the oath to the constitution
As proceedings got underway, tribute was paid to the exiting monarchy. Infant Elena looked visibly moved as her mother Sofia received a standing ovation, which saw the whole room – including the new king and queen - come to its feet in acknowledgement.Felipe then swore the oath to the constitution. As the national anthem rang out, his proud wife Letizia smiled and lent over to kiss him on the cheek.
With confidence, the new King delivered his first speech as monarch, standing in the exact same place that his father had stood nearly 40 years beforehand, pledging to lead a "renovated monarchy for new times" during the 22-minute address. It was then time for the family to process through the streets of Madrid en route to the Royal Palace for their anticipated appearance on the front balcony.FOLLOW THE CORONATION LIVE ON OUR SISTER WEBSTE, HOLA.COM