Queen Letizia greets Prince Charles at visit to Bishop Auckland
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Queen Letizia of Spain’s main residence in Madrid is called the Palace of Zarzuela and is located in the El Pardo Complex.
What is it like inside?
It is the home of King Felipe VI, 54, his wife Queen Letizia, 49, and their daughters, Princess Leonor, 16, and Infanta Sofía, 14. It is also the home of the former King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía.
Construction began on the Zarzuela Palace back in the 1600s, when King Felipe IV wanted it to be a country palace, not an official residence.
The architect, Juan Gómez de Mora, designed the Zarzuela Palace in a baroque style.
The palace is a beautiful two-storey rectangular building, which royal fans love to view when pictures are released online.
Alonso Carbonell added a slate roof, arched galleries, an Italian garden, fountains, terraces, a vegetable garden and a tree nursery.
Zarzuela Palace was updated in the 1800s when King Charles IV was on the throne.
It was modified to incorporate tapestries, porcelain, and clocks because the King was obsessed with them.
After the Spanish Civil War, the building was torn down and rebuilt to its original structure.
The garden was also remade to what it would have looked like in the 17th century.
In 1962, Prince Juan Carlos and Princess Sofía moved into the Zarzuela Palace and stayed there under military dictator Generalisimo Francisco Franco.
After the dictator’s death in 1975, the then-reigning monarch and his wife decided to stay at the Zarzuela Palace instead of moving to the Palace of El Pardo, where Franco had lived.
King Juan Carlos decided instead to keep the Palace of El Pardo for foreign visitors, and he stayed at Zarzuela through his abdication.
He and Queen Sofía still live there, along with the current King.
The mansion has 11 bedrooms and nine bathrooms, as well as offices and meeting areas, to conduct business.
Although Zarzuela Palace is commonly referred to as the King’s residence, the Royal Palace of Madrid is actually listed as the official residence of the King, though only state business is conducted there.
The Royal Palace of Madrid is the largest palace in Europe, despite the Spanish monarchy not living there.
At Zarzuela, King Felipe and Queen Letizia have offices on the first floor and an audience room where they receive official guests.
Photographs are often released of these meetings on their website and social media channels.
King Felipe delivers his annual Christmas address from a large room covered in red décor inside the Zarzuela Palace.
The palace is not open to the public for tours and is owned by the Spanish State.
It is administered by the National Estate which runs 19 other palaces on behalf of the Spanish monarch.
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