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Last week, Prince Felipe became Felipe VI, King of Spain.
Rather than the big "to do" one normally sees in European coronations, Prince Felipe opted for a more muted ceremony. It felt a little like a second marriage rather than a big first wedding ceremony.
There was a military procession and then a simple proclamation. There were no horse drawn carriages; the royals arrived by car. There were no foreign royals or heads of state in attendance. King Juan Carlos himself didn't even attend the ceremony. Instead of a seated banquet, guests were served tapas while standing. The crown was displayed next to Felipe, but he didn’t wear it.
Ardent royalists criticized the austere event as a missed opportunity to project a positive image of Spain to the world. But the occasion was reflective of Spain's economic situation and mood. Still recovering from the recession the country's unemployment rate is roughly 26 percent. For youths that number is north of 50 percent.
That didn't stop other from adding pomp to the event – commemorative souvenirs reminiscent of a royal wedding are being sold all around the country. Of course that could be a nice stimulus that the Spanish economy needs.