New Spanish king crowned

Last updated 23:06 19/06/2014
Reuters

King Felipe VI and family wave to crowds from balcony of the Royal Palace in Madrid.

Spain's new King Felipe VI and his wife Queen Letizia
CROWNED: Spain's new King Felipe VI and his wife Queen Letizia appeared on a balcony after the ceremony.

Relevant offers

Europe

Cannes crime: Wealth of the film festival crowd draws criminal element Brussels Airport departure hall reopens after deadly attacks Army captain David Seath, who died during London Marathon, planned to propose Turkish police fire tear gas, detain 200 in May Day scuffles in Istanbul Royal family: New photos of Princess Charlotte released OE nightmare: Kiwi falls five storeys in effort to retrieve rugby ball from roof Pop went the weasel and down went the Large Hadron Collider Boyfriend of EastEnders actress Sian Blake admits killing her and her children Boom! Queen & Harry answer Obamas' Invictus Games challenge Eleven bodies found, two presumed dead after helicopter crash off Norway

Spain's new King Felipe VI has been proclaimed monarch at a formal ceremony in the country's Parliament, a deliberately low-key occasion for austere times and tarnished royal reputations. 

Felipe swore an oath of allegiance to democratic principles in front lawmakers and senators, who shouted ''Viva el Rey!'' (Long live the king!). 

Although the 18th-century Spanish crown and 17th-century scepter were displayed next to the new monarch, authorities shunned an opulent coronation ceremony.

The option for a relatively low-key proclamation was chosen out of sensitivity to the financial hardship endured by many Spaniards after a double-dip recession. 

Even so, the cheering crowds and the pageantry provided a welcome distraction as Spaniards were reeling from their national team's shock defeat by Chile in the World Cup in Brazil, which ended their hope of winning a second consecutive title. 

Earlier, in his first official act since ascending to the throne after midnight, Felipe received the red sash of Captain General of the Armed Forces from his father Juan Carlos, who signed his abdication decree in favour of Felipe. 

''We have a great country. We should all be proud of being Spaniards,'' Felipe said at his swearing-in ceremony. 

Felipe acknowledged a need to restore the monarchy's image after recent royal scandals.  

The monarchy was rocked when Juan Carlos went on a luxurious elephant-hunting safari Botswana as Spaniards endured financial hardship, and his youngest daughter, Princess Cristina, was obliged to testify in a fraud and money-laundering case engulfing her husband, Olympic handball medalist turned businessman Inaki Urdangarin.  

Felipe also sought to inspire a country where a quarter of the population is unemployed and many have emigrated in search of work. 

He ended his speech by saying ''thank you'' in three Spanish regional languages - Catalan, Basque and Galician. Some people in those regions want to secede or achieve greater independence from Spain. 

After a brief military parade, King Felipe VI and his wife Queen Letizia drove through Madrid in an open-top vintage Rolls Royce with the king standing, before appearing in front of crowds on a balcony at the royal palace.

The royal couple's daughters, Princesses Leonor, 8, and Sofia, 7, accompanied them throughout.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content