In his residence, only a few steps away from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Spain, HE Ambassador Fernando Arias hosted a fiesta on Friday, 10 October 2014, to commemorate Spain’s National Day which de facto was nationally celebrated in Spain on 12 October 2014. It was the very first National Day presided over by the new royal couple, HM King Felipe VI and HM Queen Letizia. Likewise the first attended by HRH The Princess of Asturias, The Infante Leonor and her younger sister The Infanta Sofía.
In Madrid the National Day was marked by a military parade in the presence of the royal couple, members of the Royal House, the Government, high ranking judges as well as the presidents of the autonomous communities and the diplomatic corps.
In The Hague the fiesta was attended not only by ambassadors but also by prominent members of the Spanish business community based in The Netherlands. His Highness Duke Michael of Mecklenburg, a relation to HM Queen Sofía of Spain, through her Prussian ancestors, was also in attendance as was Baron Henri Estramant representing the Habsburg Dynasty. Tortilla española, paella and jerez (sherry wine) were served to the invitees.
La Fiesta Nacional de España was instituted as national holiday on 15 June 1918 during the reign of King Alfonso XIII. Back then it was named “Fiesta de la Raza”. Between 1958 y 1987 it was called “Fiesta de la Hispanidad”.