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King welcomes hoi polloi into his palace gardens

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King welcomes hoi polloi into his palace gardens
King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia pose with their daughters Princess Leonor (bottom R) and Infanta Sofia at their summer home in Mallorca. Photo: Jaime Reina / AFP.
16:40 CEST+02:00
King Felipe VI has agreed to open up the gardens of the family's summer palace to the public after requests from local left-wing politicians in Mallorca.

While posing for pictures with his family on Monday at the royal summer home of Marivent Palace, the king confirmed to reporters that he plans to open up the gardens to the public while they are away.

"We have to treat this as if it were normal and think about it thoroughly because we don't want to make a mistake or have problems," King Felipe said of the decision.

The gardens will open to the public at the request of the newly elected left-wing Podemos backed president and other centre-left and independent parties in the Balearic Parliament, the legislative body of the Mediterranean archipelago that includes islands Mallorca and Ibiza.

"We must collaborate in order to do this in the best way possible," Felipe said of working with the parliament.

It is the latest in a series of steps by the new head of state to make the monarchy more accountable since taking the crown in June 2014 on the abdication of his father King Juan Carlos.

King Felipe reign has already seen a more thorough transparency of palace accounts and the banning of privileges afforded to members of the royal family, moves which have helped restore the popularity of a monarchy tainted by scandal.

The Marivent Palace grounds make up 33,000 square metres located on the shores of the island's capital Palma. The royal family has been spending the summer and Easter holidays at the palace for more than 40 years.

Reporters also asked the family how long they planned to stay at the summer home, to which Felipe responded that it would depend on his daughters, Crown Princess Leonor and the Infanta Sofia. 

Leonor simply shrugged when reporters asked what she would like to do.

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