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King leads national memorial ceremony for Covid-19 victims

King Felipe speaking in Madrid at Thursday's ceremony with politicians and dignitiaries seated behind.
King Felipe speaking in Madrid at Thursday's ceremony with politicians and dignitiaries seated behind. / EFE
  • The monarch said at the open-air tribute in Madrid that society had a moral debt and civic duty to honour those who had died

King Felipe sent a message of support to the Spanish people at a national memorial ceremony held outside the Royal Palace in Madrid on Thursday. He urged the nation to build on the best values that had been shown during the worst period of the pandemic and lockdown.

In his speech in front of politicians, civic leaders and other invitees, all wearing masks in the outdoor courtyard, the King said, "The responsibility, the moral force, the determination, the spirit of survival of the Spanish people," over these past months, "shows us the way to go in confronting and overcoming the difficulties".

"We will beat them," he affirmed. "This will be the best, renewed tribute that we could pay to those we remember, recognise and honour today."

King leads national memorial ceremony for Covid-19 victims

/ EFE

The early-morning event was also attended by Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofía. In addition, ministers, heads of the main public bodies and the presidents of the devolved regional governments were present.

The King's speech closed the ceremony. He said that Spain had, "a moral debt, to recognise the dignity of those who had died, and a civic obligation, to preserve and build on the best values that underpin our society".

The King made special mention of older people who had lost their lives and there was a place in the ceremony to recognise the heathcare workers and emergency services. Senior EU members were also in attendance.