• King attends service for the victims of Covid-19 with wife and daughters

Despite the absence of the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez and his Vice President, Pablo Iglesias, nearly 400 people, including King Felipe and Queen Letizia and their daughters, attended a service to honour the victims of COVID-19, which was held on Monday at the Almudena Cathedral, Madrid, by the Spanish Episcopal Conference (EEC).

Although the capacity of the church is 900 people, it was reduced to less than half because of security and hygiene measures due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to sources from the Archbishopric of Madrid.

Among the attendees were King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, with their daughters Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia, heads of the Church, political leaders, along with more than 70 relatives of victims of Covid19.

A number of front line workers were also in attendance, including health workers, volunteers, Military and State Security Forces and Firefighters.

Before the watchful eyes of the 170 journalists the attendees began to arrive at the Almudena Cathedral at around 7:30 p.m., all wearing masks, as the bells of the Cathedral rang out.

Felipe VI and Letizia arrived just before 8pm to be greeted by Spanish flags and cheers of ‘viva el Rey’ from many dozens of people waiting in the sun, who had gathered at the entrance to the Plaza de la Armería.

Politicians in attendance included the Second Vice President of the Government and Minister of the Presidency, Carmen Calvo; the president of the Congress, Meritxell Batet; the president of the Senate, María Pilar Llop; the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso; the Mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida and the chief of the Defence General Staff, Miguel Ángel Villaroya who all waited at the foot of the steps, forming a line to receive the royal couple.

They were greeted by Cardinal Osoro, accompanied by the President of the EEC and Cardinal Archbishop of Barcelona, ​​Juan José Omella, and by the Secretary General of the EEC, Luis Argüello. The king and queen walked into the cathedral to the playing of the National Anthem.

The petitions were dedicated to those killed by Covid-19, their family and friends, as well as those who continue to suffer the consequences of the virus.

In his sermon, Cardinal Osoro called for the country’s leaders to have “wisdom” and a “spirit of justice” and to work for “peace, development and progress.”

Prayers were also said for health personnel, the armed forces, the State Security Forces, volunteers and for all those who have given service during the pandemic.

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