Juan Carlos signed the bill at a ceremony in the Royal Palace in Madrid, which was attended by 160 guests. At midnight local time Felipe will become king although the event will not be marked in public until Thursday morning. The succession was endorsed by both of Spain’s main political parties.
19 June 2014
- 9.30 – King Juan Carlos imposes the sash of Captain General on his son at Palacio de la Zarzuela
- 10 – King Felipe, dressed in the gala uniform of the Army, Queen Letizia, the Princess of Asturias and the Infanta Sofia leave La Zarzuela Palace.
- 10.30 – Representatives of the Three Armies pay military honours to the new King. After being greeted by the authorities at the door of lions the family enters the Congress and the Proclamation begins. At the Ceremony Don Felipe will swear as King and deliver a speech outlining his intentions for his reign. Once the Proclamation is over the King, Queen, Princess of Asturias and the Infanta Sofia will preside a military parade from the stairs of the Door of Lions.
- 11.30 – The new King and Queen will travel through the following streets – Paseo del Prado, calle Alcalá, Gran Vía, Plaza de España and Plaza de Oriente – by car. Once they arrive at the Palace there will be a balcony appearance. The King, the Queen, the Princess of Asturias, the Infanta Sofia, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia will take part.
- 13 – Reception at the Royal Palace
The award is being given in recognition of the Queen’s commitment and dedication to caring for those most in need. The award is being conferred by the Path to Peace Foundation, an autonomous arm of Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations. Past recipients of the prestigious award include former UN chief Kofi Annan, former Philippine President Corazon Aquino and Polish politician Lech Walesa. (Photos by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
The portrait by David Bailey, released by Buckingham Palace for the monarch’s 88th birthday, shows her looking relaxed and happy, in a refreshing departure from her formal responsibilities. David Bailey said: “I’ve always been a huge fan of the Queen. She has very kind eyes with a mischievous glint. I’ve always liked strong women and she is a very strong woman.”
The Queen is wearing pearls and a dress by Angela Kelly, who has served as her personal assistant and senior dresser since 2002. Her brooch, a large pearl button surrounded by diamonds with a pearl pendant, was passed down to her from her great-great-grandmother.
Queen Elizabeth II meets Pope Francis for the first time on 3 April 2014 on a visit that coincides with the anniversary of the start of the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina. Previously, Elizabeth II had met with four Pontiffs, starting with Pius XII in 1951, a year before her accession to the throne. The queen has visited the Vatican twice during her reign, once to meet John XXIII in 1961 and again in 2000 to see John Paul II, and met Benedict XVI in Britain, during his Apostolic Visit in September 2010.
Pope Francis presented the Queen with a priceless gift for Prince George at the Vatican. The orb made from lapis lazuli semi-precious stone featuring a silver cross of St Edward the Confessor was given to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to pass on to her heir. This was accompanied by a manuscript dating back to 1679 proclaiming the saint day of Edward the Confessor. The Pope explained “it’s for the little boy” as he handed the gifts over. The ornament – made especially for the occasion – featured an inscription saying: “From Pope Francis to Prince George of Cambridge.” Prince Philip was delighted with his gift from the Pope – three gold medals bearing the Pontiff’s face. He joked: “That’s very kind of you, that’s the only gold medal I have ever won.” In a friendly exchange they presented two signed pictures of themselves in silver frames and a hamper of goodies from the Royal Estates.