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Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia surprise King Felipe with touching speech at 10th anniversary of monarch's coronation

The Spanish monarch ascended to the throne on 19 June 2014

Phoebe Tatham
Content Writer
June 19, 2024
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The Spanish royal family stepped out in force on Wednesday for commemorations marking the 10th anniversary of the proclamation of King Felipe VI.

Felipe, 56, ascended to the throne on 19 June 2014 after his father, King Juan Carlos, announced his abdication after a 39-year reign. 

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King Felipe VI of Spain during his inauguration at the Parliament on June 19, 2014 in Madrid

During the celebrations, the monarch will attend a medal ceremony in Madrid followed by a lunch held at the Zarzuela Palace. He was joined at the prestigious event by his wife Queen Letizia, 51, and two daughters Princess Leonor, 18, and Infanta Sofia, 17. 

Keep scrolling to see all the best photos from King Felipe's historic day… 

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Pomp and pageantry

The Guards of the Madrid City Hall assembled in the Plaza de la Villa to mark the anniversary of King Felipe's coronation. The bando, dictated by Felipe, was later read out loud.

spanish royals inside palace© Getty Images

Inside the royal palace

During the celebrations, the Spanish royals gathered inside the Palacio de Oriente, also known as the Royal Palace. For the special occasion, King Felipe looked smart in a navy suit, a striped shirt and a patterned tie. 

He was joined by his wife Queen Letizia who turned heads in an electric blue dress crafted from rippling silk. Meanwhile, royal sisters Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia dazzled in a crimson power suit and a funky cut-out dress respectively. 

spanish royals inside palace© Getty Images

The Solemn release of the guard

As part of the proceedings, the Spanish royal family attended the solemn release of the guard.

king felipe chatting to daughter princess leonor© Getty Images

A sweet exchange

Felipe could be seen flashing a broad grin as he shared a sweet exchange with his eldest daughter Leonor.

king felipe giving speech© Getty Images

King Felipe's speech

Felipe delivered a speech as his family proudly looked on.

spanish royals waving on balcony© Getty Images

Balcony appearance

The family were all smiles as they waved at royal well-wishers from the palace balcony.

flypast over royal palace in madrid © Getty Images

Flypast

The "Patrulla Aguila" (Eagle Patrol) flew over the royal palace in plumes of red and yellow during the solemn release of the royal guard.

spain's prime minister with spanish royals and people decorated with civil merit© Getty Images

Group photo

During the celebrations, the Spanish royals paused to pose for photographs with those decorated with the Order of the Civil Merit. 

The Order of Civil Merit was set up by King Alfonso XIII under the Royal Decree of 25 June 1926 to reward "civic virtues of public servants in the service of the State, along with extraordinary services of Spanish and foreign citizens to the benefit of the Nation".

princess leonor and infanta sofia© Getty Images

Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia's speech

A nervous Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia later took to the stage to surprise their parents with a touching speech. 

Princess Leonor said: "Mamá, papá, majestades", before her younger sister Sofia continued: "Sorry to interrupt, but we also have something to say today. Thank you for joining us in remembering that in these ten years, we have learnt from our parents what the commitment that the four of us have with all Spaniards means." 

Leonor continued: "Now I would like you to join us in a toast to our mother and father, to our Kings. Because since we were born, we have been taught the value of this institution, of the Crown, its usefulness to our society and its purpose of serving everyone."

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