King Felipe VI calls for "new Spain"

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King Felipe VI calls for "new Spain"

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Spain’s new king, Felipe VI, has been sworn in following a relatively modest ceremony in Madrid.

Monarchists hope his reign will herald a new era of popularity for the troubled royal household after a series of scandals.

The 46-year-old swore loyalty to Spain’s constitution before addressing dignitaries gathered in the lower house of Parliament.

A large part of his speech was dedicated to the subject of national unity.

“There is room for everyone in this diverse but united country, which is based on the equality of the Spanish people, the solidarity between its regions, and on respect for the law,” he said.

But his pledge to work on national unity received a stony-faced reception from some of Spain’s regional leaders.

He then thanked parliament in Spanish and the three regional languages: Catalan, Basque and Galician.

The ceremony had little pomp and circumstance compared to royal handovers in other countries. It was more of a legal process, attended by lawmakers, senior politicians and some royal family members. No foreign leaders were invited.