Gala at the Teatro Real in Madrid, 1966

Queen Frederica and Princess Irene of Greece joined Prince Juan Carlos and Princess Sofia of Spain as they accompanied the Spanish dictator, General Francisco Franco, and his wife, Carmen Polo, as guests of honour at the reopening of the Teatro Real, in Madrid on this day in 1966.

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The royal theatre was firstly inaugurated in 1850, during the reign of Queen Isabel II. It worked uninterruptedly until 1925, when the building suffered some damages caused by the works for the installation of Madrid’s metro. Because of that, it was provisionally closed by royal decree. The abolition of the Monarchy, the Spanish Civil War, and the difficulties of the post-war era paralysed the reconstruction works, that ended up lasting 41 long years.

In 1966, the restoration works were finally finished, and it opened to the public as auditorium and headquarters of the Royal Superior Conservatory of Music. To mark the occasion, a concert of the Spanish National Orchestra and the Orfeón Donostiarra took place. Apart from the Head of State, his wife, and the Greek and Spanish royals, also ministers, ambassadors, and high personalities of Spanish society were present at this gala evening.

Queen Frederica wore Queen Sophie’s Diamond Tiara, her Pearl and Diamond Necklace with Queen Marie of Romania’s Sapphire suspended, a pair of Romanov Sapphire Earrings and the Greek Order of Redeemer. Her youngest daughter, Princess Irene was wearing Queen Sophie’s Diamond Circle Tiara, the Order of Saints Olga and Sophia, and the Commemorative Badge of the Centenary of the Royal House of Greece.

Prince Juan Carlos wore the Order of Golden Fleece and the Order of Charles III and Princess Sofia was in the Prussian Tiara, the Niarchos Ruby Parure, the main flowers of the Floral Tiara as brooches, a large Diamond Floral Brooch, and the Order of Charles III.

This article was written by assistant editor, David Rato, who runs the Spanish Royal Jewels account on Instagram!

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Sources: https://www.teatroreal.es/es/historia-del-teatro; ABC, Pintrisimo

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