MADRID – Spain’s Queen Sofia on Wednesday received a copy of the book “Sofia 75 años” (Sofia, 75 Years), a look at the various phases of her life through images from the agency’s archives, including some that have never been published before, from Agencia EFE President Jose Antonio Vera.
During the audience granted by the queen at her residence in the Zarzuela Palace near Madrid to a delegation from EFE, Vera conveyed to Queen Sofia the “respect and affection” of the agency’s workers for her “75 years of work for Spain,” and he thanked her for the opportunity to present her with the book, which was prepared “with much affection on the occasion of your recent birthday.”
“During this time, you have been our ambassador around the world, a defender of just causes, active in social matters” and “innovative in cultural (affairs),” and “that is why we owe a debt of gratitude to you,” the Agencia EFE president said.
After noting that “since you ascended to the throne there was always an EFE reporter and photographer at your side,” Vera added that “it will continue to be that way and that is what my colleagues at the Agency on the five continents want me to tell you today.”
Queen Sofia greeted the 12 EFE representatives one by one.
The queen herself chose the first image in “Sofia 75 años,” which can be purchased on Agencia EFE’s Web site (www.efe.com
The photo is of Sofia and King Juan Carlos with their eight grandchildren, taken in the gardens of the Zarzuela Palace a few days before Christmas 2007.
Sofia, who turned 75 on Nov. 2, dedicated the photo to EFE as an expression of her “most sincere appreciation” for the agency’s work “in benefit of Spain and of the Spaniards.”
The collection of 75 photos, selected from among the thousands and thousands in Agencia EFE’s archive of 17 million items, starts with one taken of Sofia in Athens in 1940, when she was barely 2, playing with her mother, Queen Federika of Greece, and her brother, Prince Constantine.
The book includes childhood photos that have never been published before and images of Sofia’s return to Greece after her family’s exile in Egypt and South Africa, as well as photos from her stay in Germany, the childcare course she took in Athens and her engagement to King Juan Carlos in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The collection also offers readers family photos of Queen Sofia with the king, her children and grandchildren; images of meetings with officials from around the world; and photographs of the queen on some of her aid trips.
Queen Sofia can be seen providing comfort to victims of attacks and natural disasters in some of the photographs.
Aena, Banco Espirito Santo, Correos, El Corte Ingles, Renfe, Unilever, the Madrid regional government and the capital’s municipal government worked with EFE on the book, which is a follow-up to the book about King Juan Carlos published by the agency in January to mark his birthday under the title “75 años, 75 fotos” (75 Years, 75 Photos).
The book about the king started the countdown to the celebration in 2014 of the 75th anniversary of Agencia EFE, which was founded in Burgos on Jan. 3, 1938.