The big annual royal sales pitch took place on Saturday night, as Spaniards began their long-awaited Christmas Eve dinner at home, a few million of them still willing to lend King Felipe five or ten minutes of their time as the wine was opened or the prawns were brought to the table, to see how His Majesty framed the nation this year in his speech, with all its problems and problematic characters, before getting stuck into a bit of Yuletide brawling with their closest relatives.

It was the [least watched King's speech][bluper] for many years, less exciting than even King Juan Carlos's final attempt in 2013, which capped off a couple of years that included the elephant hunting scandal in 2012 and ongoing health problems. Felipe VI managed a new low, dropping below six million viewers ...

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