Madrid ready for new king and queen

Thousands of flags, garlands of flowers and cheap souvenirs are ready for enthronement of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia on Thursday 19 June.

The handover from King Juan Carlos, who is abdicating in favour of his son, will be a comparatively low-profile affair thanks to rising protests about the monarchy and tight security to protect the new king and queen.

The conservative mayor of Madrid Ana Botella, has had to urge crowds to come out to cheer the young monarch.

Juan Carlos, whose last few years as king have been tarnished by corruption scandals, will not be at the ceremony which will take place in the lower chamber of parliament so as not to detract from the new royals but both he and Queen Sofia will be allowed to retain their titles.

It has already been announced that the first visit outside Madrid of the new King Felipe will be to Catalonia at the end of June, where separatist sentiment is high.