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In pictures: Spain honours its 28,400 virus victims at solemn state memorial

The memorial took place barely three weeks after Spain ended its months-long state of emergency.

16 Jul 2020

Badly hit by the pandemic and carefully watching the latest outbreaks, Spain paused on Thursday to honour its tens of thousands of victims at a state ceremony joined by top EU and World Health Organisation (WHO) figures.

The memorial took place barely three weeks after Spain ended its months-long state of emergency, but since then there has been a growing number of new coronavirus infections, with health chiefs monitoring more 120 active outbreaks.

So far, the virus has officially claimed 28,413 lives in Spain, making it the seventh worst-hit country in the world.

Presided over by Spain's King Felipe VI, the memorial took place in a square outside the Royal Palace in the presence of bereaved families and a host of top EU and WHO officials, with an orchestra playing Samuel Barber's “Adagio for Strings”.

“This act cannot heal the pain felt by so many families at not being at the side of their loved ones in their final hours [...] but what it can do is pay tribute to their lives, to their contribution to our society, to their memories,” the king said.

Attendees sit around a cauldron during a state ceremony to honour the 28,400 victims of the coronavirus crisis as well as those public servants who have been fighting on the front line against the pandemic in Spain, on July 16, 2020, at the Royal Palace in Madrid. — AFP
Attendees sit around a cauldron during a state ceremony to honour the 28,400 victims of the coronavirus crisis as well as those public servants who have been fighting on the front line against the pandemic in Spain, on July 16, 2020, at the Royal Palace in Madrid. — AFP

European Council President Charles Michel places flowers during a state tribute in memory of Spain's Covid-19 victims. — Reuters
European Council President Charles Michel places flowers during a state tribute in memory of Spain's Covid-19 victims. — Reuters

Spain's King Felipe, Queen Letizia and Princess Leonor place flowers during a state tribute in memory of Spain's coronavirus victims. — Reuters
Spain's King Felipe, Queen Letizia and Princess Leonor place flowers during a state tribute in memory of Spain's coronavirus victims. — Reuters

Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez (L) leaves a white rose next to a cauldron during a state ceremony to honour the victims of the coronavirus crisis. — AFP
Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez (L) leaves a white rose next to a cauldron during a state ceremony to honour the victims of the coronavirus crisis. — AFP

President of the European Commision Ursula von der Leyen leaves a rose next to a cauldron during a state ceremony to honour the 28,400 victims of Covid-19 as well as those public servants who have been fighting on the front line against the pandemic in Spain. — AFP
President of the European Commision Ursula von der Leyen leaves a rose next to a cauldron during a state ceremony to honour the 28,400 victims of Covid-19 as well as those public servants who have been fighting on the front line against the pandemic in Spain. — AFP

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (C) arrives flanked by two relatives of coronavirus victims during a state ceremony to honour the 28,400 victims of the coronavirus crisis as well as those public servants who have been fighting on the front line against the pandemic in Spain. — AFP
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (C) arrives flanked by two relatives of coronavirus victims during a state ceremony to honour the 28,400 victims of the coronavirus crisis as well as those public servants who have been fighting on the front line against the pandemic in Spain. — AFP

A flame burns on a cauldron surrounded by white roses during a state ceremony to honour the 28,400 victims of the coronavirus crisis as well as those public servants who have been fighting on the front line against the pandemic in Spain. — AFP
A flame burns on a cauldron surrounded by white roses during a state ceremony to honour the 28,400 victims of the coronavirus crisis as well as those public servants who have been fighting on the front line against the pandemic in Spain. — AFP

King Felipe VI of Spain (2L) delivers a speech during a state ceremony to honour the 28,400 victims of the coronavirus crisis as well as those public servants who have been fighting on the front line against the pandemic in Spain. — AFP
King Felipe VI of Spain (2L) delivers a speech during a state ceremony to honour the 28,400 victims of the coronavirus crisis as well as those public servants who have been fighting on the front line against the pandemic in Spain. — AFP

Crown Princess Leonor of Spain (4R), her father King Felipe VI of Spain (3R), Queen Letizia of Spain (2R) and Princess Sofia of Spain attend a state ceremony to honour the 28,400 victims of the coronavirus crisis as well as those public servants who have been fighting on the front line against the pandemic in Spain. — AFP
Crown Princess Leonor of Spain (4R), her father King Felipe VI of Spain (3R), Queen Letizia of Spain (2R) and Princess Sofia of Spain attend a state ceremony to honour the 28,400 victims of the coronavirus crisis as well as those public servants who have been fighting on the front line against the pandemic in Spain. — AFP

Spanish royal family members (L to R) Crown Princess Leonor, King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia and Princess Sofia arrive to attend a state ceremony to honour the 28,400 victims of the coronavirus crisis as well as those public servants who have been fighting on the front line against the pandemic in Spain. — AFP
Spanish royal family members (L to R) Crown Princess Leonor, King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia and Princess Sofia arrive to attend a state ceremony to honour the 28,400 victims of the coronavirus crisis as well as those public servants who have been fighting on the front line against the pandemic in Spain. — AFP

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez greets Spain's King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor and Princess Sofia before a state tribute. — Reuters
Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez greets Spain's King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor and Princess Sofia before a state tribute. — Reuters


Header: Attendees sit around a cauldron during a state ceremony to honour victims of the coronavirus crisis. — AFP