Spain celebrates national day with royal and military pomp

People waving Spanish flags march during Spain's National Day celebrations in the Catalan city of Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. Catalan political leaders, who are demanding independence for the wealthy northeastern region, stayed away from Spain's National Day ceremonies in Barcelona. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

MADRID (AP) — A royal parade and military fanfare are taking place in Madrid on Spain’s National Day, an annual public holiday that provides a cue for nationwide displays of pomp and patriotism.

King Felipe VI, wearing military uniform, and Queen Letizia were driven Friday in a Rolls Royce down one of the capital’s main avenues, flanked by cavalry. People waving yellow-and-red Spanish flags lined the street.

Rain though halted a Spanish Air Force flyover.

Catalan leaders, who are demanding independence for the wealthy northeastern region stayed away from ceremonies in Barcelona — as usual.

They have also snubbed King Felipe, who has spoken out against Catalonian independence. Catalonia’s mostly pro-independence parliament passed a motion Thursday calling for the abolition of the monarchy.

Several thousand people joined a unionist parade in downtown Barcelona.

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