As every year, King Felipe VI of Spain has welcomed the arrival of the festive season with a Christmas Eve message.
The coronavirus pandemic, that has led to a social and economic crisis that has changed the lives of Spaniards and the rest of the world, was prominent in his 13-minute speech.
The head of state acknowledged that the current situation "is serious."
"The virus," he stressed, "has entered our lives bringing suffering, sadness or fear; it has altered our way of living and working, and has seriously affected our economy, even paralysing or destroying many companies.
Even so, he said he had confidence in the ability of Spanish society to overcome this situation and "face the future with determination and security."
In his speech, the monarch has appealed to individual responsibility as an "effective instrument" in the fight against the virus and has urged people to stay alert at all times. Although he considers that the arrival of the vaccines throws "hope" and the light can finally being seen at the end of the tunnel, Felipe does not believe that we can "lower our guard" yet.
He reminded all the people who have lost family and friends due to the disease: "In thousands of homes there are a void impossible to fill due to the death of your loved ones, who I want to remember with emotion and with all due respect."
The head of state also sent his "encouragement and affection" to all those who continue to fight against COVID-19 and who, therefore, cannot celebrate the holidays with their loved ones in his broadcast address.
The monarch wanted to thank all those who have fought on the front line against the pandemic, who "faced the first attacks of the virus in extreme conditions" and that today " they continue to face this struggle with a great emotional and physical burden on their shoulders. Also, all the essential workers who have who have demonstrated "their vocation for service and their full harmony with our society."
King Felipe VI also referred to the need to defend the constitution, in the broadcast, since it “reflects our way of understanding life" with our rights and freedoms.”
He reaffirmed: "The moral and ethical principles that citizens demand from our conduct oblige us all without exceptions." In his traditional Christmas Eve speech, he stressed that these principles "are above any consideration, of whatever nature, even personal or family ones."
He did not mention his father, Juan Carlos I, who has been embroiled in more controversies this year but there is no doubt that he was the recipient of his message.