King Felipe VI. and Queen Letizia take part in the traditional military parade in Madrid. Photo: Eduardo Parra / EUROPA PRESS / dpa
More than 2,600 soldiers with 215 vehicles passed the König in the center of the capital on Tuesday. In the sky, 68 combat and transport aircraft as well as air force helicopters flew low over Madrid. The motto of the celebration was “Service and Commitment”.
On October 12th, the “Día de la Hispanidad”, the arrival of Christopher Columbus in America in 1492 and the common roots of the Spanish-speaking world will be remembered. In several Latin American countries, the holiday has since been abolished or, as in Argentina, renamed “Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity”.
The socialist Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez also took part in the ceremony in Madrid. As is often the case with joint appearances with the king, the socialist was greeted with whistles and boos from among the more conservative spectators.
Last year, Spain was still in a dramatic situation because of the pandemic. At that time there was only a smaller ceremony under the direction of the king and without public. The seven-day incidence has now fallen to around 20, almost 78 percent of the population are fully vaccinated against corona, only 5.5 percent of all beds in intensive care units are occupied by corona patients. Most of the restrictions in public life have been lifted again.