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Members of La Legion, an elite unit of the Spanish Army, wait for the start of the military parade

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain presided over Spain's annual military parade in central Madrid Tuesday, in celebration of the country's national day.

The royal couple were joined by their daughter the Princess Sofia and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, on a crisp morning in the Spanish capital.

A large crowd watched on, waving Spanish flags, with some spectators booing and jeering as Sanchez took the stage.

For many the highlight of the parade are the troops from the Spanish Legion who are famous for the speedy march and for having a mascot goat.

The annual military parade commemorates the date in 1492 that Christopher Columbus "discovered the Americas" for Spain, with the day also marked by a national holiday.

The national holiday is controversial, with a debate ongoing about whether to celebrate the date in light of the bloody and extractive history of Spanish colonialism.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador has demanded that Spain apologize for the events surrounding the Spanish conquest of Mexico.

Spain has largely ignored his demand.