SPAIN’S royal family have presided over a socially distanced ‘parade’ to celebrate the country’s National Day.

Just 520 soldiers instead of the usual total of several thousand  took part in this year’s event, with King Felipe, Queen Letizia and their daughters Leonor and Sofia all wearing masks for the occasion.

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SALUTE: King Felipe

Normally the Plaza de la Armenia, next to the Royal Palace in Madrid, is packed for the celebration that marks the day in 1492 when Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World. It is also known as the Dia de Hispanidad.

But this year coronavirus restrictions – Madrid has largely been put into lockdown – meant the affair was subdued.

Usually officials including members of the regional governments and foreign diplomats attend, but this year VIP guests were conspicuous by their absence as they abided by the coronavirus rules.

There was however a flypast by jets trailing red, yellow and white smoke to represent Spain’s colours.

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