Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia joined their parents Queen Letizia and King Felipe for a moment of silence on Wednesday to remember the victims of the coronavirus pandemic. The royals dressed in black for the somber occasion at Zarzuela Palace. “Spain mourns for so many thousands of compatriots that we have lost in this pandemic. Many also continue to face it to get ahead, and to all of them, along with their families, we owe our memory, our mourning and our love,” the palace said.
The Princesses and their parents emerged from the palace and made their way to the flag, which was lowered to half-mast, for the minute of silence. The Spanish government declared an official 10-day mourning period starting May 27 through June 5 to pay tribute to the over 25,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. On Tuesday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez tweeted, “10 days, the longest mourning of our democracy, with which we show all our pain and pay tribute to those who have died. Your memory will always remain with us.”
Wednesday marked Leonor and Sofia’s first public outing since the outbreak of the pandemic. The Spanish Princesses were last seen virtually in April as they took part in an online reading of Don Quixote, which was organized by the Círculo de Bellas Artes as a tribute for those on the frontlines of the global health crisis. The sisters also recorded a moving message for the children of Spain. “Like millions of kids, we have been in lockdown for a month due to this pandemic, not being able to go to school and trying to carry on the best we can,” future Queen Leonor, 14, said.
“You don’t need to be a grown up to be aware of the incredible difficulties we are going through in Spain and other countries,” Sofia, 13, continued. In the video, Leonor noted that many children have lost relatives because of the novel virus. Sofia said, “This is why we want to say thank you to all the people who are helping out and looking after us in so many ways.” “You are all important. Thank you. We send you a hug with all our love,” Leonor added. Sofia concluded the message saying, “I hope all this ends soon.”