Much has happened to the Royal House since 1995, when the then Kings Juan Carlos I and Sofía attended the Easter Mass for the first time in Palma Cathedral. That year they inaugurated a tradition, that of closing their Holy Week with a pose in front of the Seu, which has been maintained for almost three decades and which has served until now to graphically capture all the stages that the royal family has gone through.
In 2020, in full confinement, the Eucharist was celebrated for the first time without public attendance and last year, when many of the pandemic restrictions were still in force, the ceremony took place with limited capacity. This Sunday, for the third consecutive year, no representative of the royal family has attended. The Royal House has not given details about the absences, considering that it is a private activity that is not part of the official agenda, although Felipe VI does plan to travel to the Balearic Islands in the coming days: on Wednesday 27 it is expected that participate in Palma in an act of the Princess of Girona Foundation in which one of the winners will be announced.
The King and Queen and their daughters, the Princess of Asturias and the Infanta Sofía, are in Madrid and last Saturday afternoon they took advantage of Princess Leonor’s vacation in Spain to visit a reception center for Ukrainian refugees. The queen emeritus, Doña Sofía, does spend these holidays in Mallorca, she has been seen in a concert at the cathedral and, with her sister Irene from Greece, in the Crist de la Sang procession, the most famous of Holy Week in the island.
Perhaps it would have been too deserted a picture, that of Queen Sofía alone in front of the church. Especially when a little more than 24 hours ago her husband, Juan Carlos I, spread a couple of snapshots of the visit that her two daughters, the infantas Elena and Cristina, and five of the grandchildren of she.
The Easter Mass in Palma was, together with the Princess of Asturias Awards in Oviedo, one of the few official dates in which the King and Queen and their daughters coincided with Doña Sofía. The first time Queen Letizia was at the event was in 2004, when she was still the prince’s fiancee. Until the outbreak of the pandemic, both had only been absent in 2007, due to Doña Letizia’s advanced pregnancy.
One of the most popular masses was that of 2006, when the kings, the princes of Asturias with a little Leonor of just over a year, as well as the dukes of Lugo and Palma with their respective children, coincided. But from that year on the inn began to decline at the speed at which the problems within the family were sprouting.
The first to leave was Jaime de Marichalar, after his separation from the Infanta Elena. Shortly after, Iñaki Urdangarín and Cristina did the same, when the Nóos case broke out. Juan Carlos I was absent for the first time in 2011 and did so again on several occasions after his abdication. In 2012 this event was one of his last appearances before taking a plane to Botswana, on the trip that for many marked the beginning of the end of Juancarlismo.
Although without a doubt the most mediatic mass was that of 2018, when Doña Sofía and Doña Letizia staged a notorious scuffle at the doors of the cathedral, dominating the news of the main media for several days. At the exit of the ceremony, the cameras captured how the Queen intervened in a pose of Doña Sofía with her granddaughters. The following year, at the last Easter Mass with royal representation, the two queens staged their relationship by being especially close.
Now, after the absence of any member of the family in the event, it remains to wait until next year to find out if this has been a hiatus or a break with tradition. Perhaps, in that case, the next chapter will take place in a new setting. Because nothing like changing the scenery to make a clean slate. They know a lot about that in Casa Real.