King Felipe of Spain carried out one of only two engagements on his agenda this week and presented two families with posthumous military honours.
His Majesty presided over the ceremony of the Chapter of the Royal and Military Order of San Fernando, which was held in the Aranjuez Royal Palace in Madrid.
Present for the occasion were, among others, the Chief of Staff of the Air and Space Force, Air General Javier Salto; the Grand Chancellor of the Royal and Military Order of San Hermenegildo, the President of the Assembly of the Royal and Military Order of San Fernando, Air General Miguel Ángel Villaroya; the Director of the National Intelligence Centre, Esperanza Casteleiro; Undersecretary of Defense Adoración Mateos; and many top officials and military leaders.
Also present were family members for the two men who received posthumous honours: Legionnaire Brigadier Knight Francisco Fadrique Castromonte, who was nominated laureate with the Cross of San Fernando for his heroic actions in the Sahara province on 13 January 1958 and Legionnaire Knight Infantry Paratrooper Sergeant Juan Moncadas Pujol was awarded the Individual Military Medal for his actions “carried out with highly distinguished valour” during the war operation in the Sidi Ifni province in November 1957.
The act began with a military parade, which, aside from the usual forces (Civil Guard band and five companies belonging to the Army, Navy, Air and Space Force, Royal Guard and Civil Guard), also featured the standards of the 10th Armored Regiment “Córdoba” and the 31st Regiment “Asturias,” both of whom received a collective honour that was displayed for the first time on their standards.
The military parade concluded with the traditional “homage to those who gave their lives for Spain,” followed by the flypast of the “Águila” Patrol (the equivalent of the British Red Arrows). The parade was followed by a short reading about the history of the order and the handing out of the two commemorative plaques.
Top representatives from the order, including the King, then went inside the palace to hold a meeting about the current situation of the order and its functioning. In the meantime, the Civil Guard’s music unit has offered a concert to the public.
The Royal and Military Order of San Fernando was created in 1811 in Cádiz and officially recognised through a royal decree by King Ferdinand VII on 28 November 1814. Its aim is to “honour the recognised heroic value” of Armed Forces members who have carried out actions “always for the benefit of Spain.”
According to its rules and regulations, King Felipe serves as the Sovereign of the Order, a figure recognisable on solemn occasions thanks to its unique insignia, called the Sovereign’s Collar.