King Felipe VI will give a statement about the current situation in Catalonia at 9pm Spanish time (GMT+2) this evening, the Royal household has announced. It will be the first time a Spanish monarch has made an emergency statement since his father, Juan Carlos I, did so after the coup d'état on 23rd February 1981.
The king will appear after remaining silent on the issue in recent weeks. The last time he referred to the Catalan situation was on 13th September in Conca, during the award ceremony for the National Culture Prizes. During that event, the Felipe VI said that the Constitution would prevail "over any break" of the "coexistence in democracy" and that "the rights that belong to all Spanish will be preserved" in the face of "those who set themselves outside of the constitutional and statutory law".
The Royal household had cancelled the events on the king's schedule for this week, as the Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy had done, in preparation for what might take place in Catalonia. That said, Felipe VI made no statement on Sunday, the day of the referendum, despite the serious scenes caused by the police attacks at polling stations which left more than 800 injured.
In the end, he will speak this Tuesday, coinciding with the region-wide standstill and the demonstrations against police violence around Catalonia.
Last Friday, the Royal household and the Moncloa, the prime minister's residence, published the schedules for this week of the Felipe VI and Mariano Rajoy, respectively. Neither of them included any official activity "with news coverage" between 2nd and 8th October. Despite no explicit reason being given, it was interpreted as being in preparation for being able to follow developments in Catalonia.
The royal statement will come two days after the violent action by the Spanish National Police and the Civil Guard against the members of the public taking part in the self-determination referendum on Sunday. The violence injured 893 people and the image of Spain around the world, although the Spanish government tried to cover the reality saying that their police forces had acted "proportionally".