It’s not every day that you meet royalty, so yesterday was quite an exciting day here in Zafra. King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia arrived at 11.30am to officially open the Feria de Zafra (or the Feria Internacional Ganadera y 561 Tradicional de San Miguel if you’re feeling fancy).
The whole town were out in force, all desperate to catch a glimpse of the new Spanish King and Queen. It was a swelteringly hot day and we (myself and the five other English assistants here) stood for over two hours in direct sunlight battling to keep our position at the front of the barrier. The crowds became quite intense and overwhelming with tonnes of people pushing and shoving to get to the front. Being tall British people we stand out quite a lot here (often towering over the teachers in school) and up until now this had made us feel a bit exposed, yesterday however, it came in very handy. I was three rows back but still had an incredible view straight over the heads of the petite Spanish ladies in front!
When the Royal guests eventually arrived Queen Letizia walked down our side of the road greeting people, whilst her husband met people on the other side. It was all very exciting and chaotic, people were grabbing her hands, shouting compliments, attempting to take selfies – it was crazy. Amazingly, amongst all the chaos Queen Letezia remained calm, polite and gracious; she even managed not to look disgusted by the sheer volume of sweaty hands grabbing at her perfectly tailored suit. Her whole demeanour was very Kate Middleton-esque, she’s just as popular too; coming from a ‘normal’ background rather than Royal heritage.
The whole experience was so much fun and there were press everywhere, so we spent a lot of time waving maniacally at any camera that pointed in our direction. It’s brilliant that after just two weeks in Spain I’ve seen members of the Royal Family; it was one of their first official engagements as King and Queen too, so a very special occasion. Below are the pictures I managed to snap of the Queen herself, please note that the hands grabbing her arms are not mine but those of an overly-enthusiastic Spanish royalist.