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No banquet for new Spanish king

There will not be any ritzy official celebrations when Crown Prince Felipe ascends to the Spanish throne.

The economic crisis, which has put the unemployment rate in Spain at 25%, has compelled Europe's newest king to be relatively frugal at the formal proclamation ceremonies.

Felipe's father, 76-year-old Juan Carlos, misjudged public anger at financial hardship when he went on a luxurious elephant-hunting safari in Africa.

Felipe, 46, appears keen to show he is more in tune with the Spaniards as he ascends to the throne on Thursday.

There will be no banquet, just a reception with tapas-style nibbles which guests will eat while standing.

Navarra University modern history professor Pablo Perez Lopez said the royals want to signal sobriety in spending that "shows a certain sense of solidarity in a time of economic difficulty".

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