MADRID, SPAIN - UNDATED: In this handout photo from the Spanish Royal Household, shows the 2013 Christmas card featuring Prince Felipe of Spain with Princess Letizia of Spain and their children Princess Sofia and Princess Leonoron undated in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Household of HM the King via Getty Images) Meet the new Spanish royal family: King Felipe of Spain with Princess Letizia of Spain and their children Princess Sofia and Princess Leonor. (Photo by Household of HM the King via Getty Images)

Spain has a new king! Also a new queen, two new princesses (well, they were princesses already), and a retired ex-king. All hail King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia, and Princesses Leonor and Sofia.

"But wait," I'm sure you're saying. "A European royal family did something? Where are the commemorative plates? Why aren't I watching an E! special about it?" That's because the Spanish royal family rolls a little differently than our pals the Windsors - especially now, when Spain's economy is so bad. Felipe has promised to focus on austerity, and he set a good example with his coronation, which may have been the least fancy coronation since the Middle Ages - instead of a big, splashy ceremony with an international guest list and lots of parties, Felipe opted for a slimmed down event with relatively few guests and little in the way of pomp.

That's not the only unusual thing about this coronation: The reason Felipe has ascended to the throne in the first place is because his father, 76-year-old King Juan Carlos, decided to abdicate. Juan Carlos, who helped moved the country from fascism to democracy, has always been extremely popular with his subjects, but of late the Spanish royal family's reputation has taken some hits. Felipe's older sister Princess Cristina is embroiled in a tax scandal, and many are questioning why a cash-strapped nation needs to foot the bill for a royal family at all, even a relatively cheap one.

 

Fair point! Here is my counterpoint: Look at those adorable little princesses. You don't want them to have to grow up and get jobs, do you?

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