MADRID – On October 12, to celebrate Spain’s national day, more than 4,000 soldiers marched along the Paseo del Prado in Madrid. The Spanish Prime Minister was treated to boos and whistles.
The royal family was present and Princess Leonor attended her first public event since being sworn in as a soldier. Apart from that novelty, the military parade largely went according to tradition. However, Spanish President Pedro Sánchez did not escape booing, although this year it was from a greater distance than usual. Therefore, the protests against the president seemed to be less intense this year. Despite this, the intense boos and whistles could still be heard, even from more than 100 meters away.
— Casa de S.M. el Rey (@CasaReal) October 12, 2023
Notably absent from the event were the leaders of the Basque government and the Catalan Generalitat, who were on official visits to Japan and Italy respectively. Despite their absence, virtually all other regional leaders were present.
Also read: Why is October 12 a public holiday in Spain?
Although most members of the government were present, Equality Minister Irene Montero (visiting Chile) and Vice President Nadia Calviño (in Morocco for an IMF meeting) were absent.
“Genocide against the peoples of Latin America”
Ione Belarra, the Minister of Social Affairs, criticized the day itself in a tweet, suggesting that Spain should consider no longer celebrating its national day on the anniversary of what she described as a “genocide against the peoples of Latin America “.
Nuestro país debería plantearse seriamente dejar de conmemorar su día nacional en el aniversario de un genocidio contra los pueblos de América Latina. Los símbolos también pueden ayudar a fortalecer nuestra democracia. Podemos ser mejores.
— Ione Belarra (@ionebelarra) October 12, 2023
Also read: On October 12, Spain celebrates the national holiday Día de la Hispanidad
Reception in the royal palace
After the military parade, the royal family went to the Royal Palace where Princess Leonor also made her debut at the reception offered by the kings on the occasion of the ‘Fiesta Nacional de España’. They welcomed 2,500 guests. While the king had replaced his military clothing with regular clothes, the crown princess remained in her dress uniform as a cadet woman, with her hair done up but without a beret.