Elena and Cristina, the sisters of King Felipe VI, were vaccinated last month in Abu Dhabi when they visited their father, who lives in self-exile in the United Arab Emirates. This was revealed by the online newspaper El Confidencial on Wednesday and sparked a wave of outrage in Spain, where most citizens are still waiting to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Spain plans to have 70% of its 47 million residents vaccinated by the summer, but so far only 1.3 million have been fully vaccinated.
The palace of Zarzuela has already separated itself from the case. He refused to comment, simply stating: “The king is not responsible for the actions of his sisters.” It is worth remembering that infants have ceased to be part of the royal family since 2014, that is, since the date when Juan Carlos abdicated in favor of his youngest son. A spokesman for Casa Real told CNN that the king, queen and their two daughters are following the country’s health guidelines and “waiting for their turn” to be vaccinated in Spain.
El Mundo cited a statement from the Princesses stating that they were offered the vaccine so they could have a “health passport” that would allow them to visit their father more regularly. If not, they would have to wait their turn in Spain. Neither Cristina’s lawyer nor Fundacion Mapfre, the social and cultural arm of the Madrid-based insurance company Mapfre, where Elena works, declined to comment. For its part, the United Arab Emirates claim that they only vaccinate residents and citizens with a valid ID card. According to Our World in Data, around 60% of the population has already been vaccinated.
Labor Minister Yolanda Diaz criticized the two princesses. “It’s very uncomfortable, very ugly,” he told the state broadcaster RTVE. “We, the people who exercise any kind of representation, have to set an example.” But Infantasia weren’t the only ones, in Spain too, many high-ranking mayors and military personnel have vaccinated without being part of the priority groups, sparking a wave of layoffs.