The Royal Family after dining out in Puerto Portals on Sunday evening. | Ballesteros


King Felipe spent much of last week holding talks with political leaders in hearing proposals that were being made (or not) to form the next government of Spain. The Royal Family is now enjoying its annual summer holiday in Majorca, taking up residence at Palma's Marivent Palace.

The King arrived on the island on Saturday and attended the eightieth birthday celebrations for the Infanta Pilar, the older sister of the former king, Juan Carlos. This party at the Infanta's residence in Sol de Mallorca was also attended by the ex-king, the queen mother Sofia and one of Felipe's sisters, Elena.

On Sunday, Queen Letizia and the two young princesses, Leonor and Sofia, arrived in Majorca, and the whole family dined out in Puerto Portals on Sunday evening.

There were official duties for the King this morning. He received leading political figures at the Almudaina Palace, starting with President Armengol and followed by the president (speaker) of the Balearic parliament, Xelo Huertas, the mayor of Palma, José Hila, and the president of the Council of Majorca, Miquel Ensenyat.

The next few days will not be totally relaxing for the King, as he will be back and forth to Madrid in order to deal with issues related to the possible formation of the next government. Mariano Rajoy, who accepted the King's invitation to attempt to secure his investiture as prime minister, will himself be meeting leaders from other parties on Tuesday and Wednesday. It is not clear at present if Rajoy, as is usual for a Spanish prime minister, will come to Majorca to be received by the King.

Nor is currently clear if there will be a reception this coming Sunday for representatives of Balearic society at the Almudaina Palace. The King and Queen instituted this reception for people from the sporting, cultural, scientific and business communities two years ago.

After the meetings with local political leaders, President Armengol stressed the value of the King being in Majorca because of the commitment shown to the island by the Royal Family.

She reported that the King is concerned by the current political situation in Spain, having expressed her opinion to him that there was a need to arrive at agreements to form a new national government of the left. Spain, she had said, needs a government "but not any government". Rather, the country needs "the best", and if Mariano Rajoy cannot gain enough support (and she thinks this will be difficult), then Pedro Sánchez of her party PSOE should be given the chance. Armengol suggested that the essence of PSOE as a socialist party cannot be "betrayed" by support for Rajoy and the Partido Popular.

Miquel Ensenyat told the King that tourism is creating economic wealth but not welfare, a situation that needs revising so that it produces a change in the economic model of the Balearics. He also spoke with the King about the need to address the financing of the Balearics in order to address structural problems that exist on the islands. On a cultural note, the King gave a "positive response" to the notion of developing a Ramon Llull European Route, indicating that the Royal Household could assist with contacts in order to facilitate this.

José Hila spoke with the King once more about the opening of the gardens of the Marivent Palace to the general public and the linking of the gardens with the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation in order to create a tourist area that would be an attraction of the highest level. He also mentioned that there is a proposal to open a new point of entry to the city for cruise-ship passengers close by. (The gardens are now due to be opened up next year.)

On tourism in Palma in general, Hila said that he and the King spoke about the challenges facing the city and not about any negativity towards tourists. "Tourists are very welcome," the mayor emphasised.