THE October 12 National Holiday in Spain was celebrated with a military parade on Monday in Madrid and presided over by King Felipe VI.
The second military parade to be presided over by this king had 3,500 members of the armed forces and Civil Guard and included 48 vehicles driving along Castellana Boulevard with an overhead flyby of 53 aircraft.
The Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, was no doubt referring to the recent elections in Catalonia when he announced the holiday as “a day for everybody.”
Accompanying King Felipe in Madrid was Queen Leticia and their two daughters, Leonor and Sofia. Today marked the first time that the NATO flag was carried in the parade, a nod to the Trident Juncture training exercise taking place in Spain later in the year.
The parade is said to have cost €800,000, a figure that does not include the cost of the flyby. The leaders of the regional governments in Catalonia and the Basque Country are not normally present at the October 12 parade and Pablo Iglesias of Podemos was not in attendance either.
Artur Mas of Catalonia and Inigo Urkullo, the Basque Nationalist Party leader did not attend the parade in Madrid and neither did the regional premier of Navarra, Uxue Barkos, who has previously stated his support for Basque independence.
King Felipe and Queen Leticia went on to hold a traditional reception at the royal palace after the parade.