MADRID, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Prince Felipe, the heir to the Spanish throne, who will with almost total certainty be proclaimed Felipe VI on June 18, stressed on Wednesday his desire to serve his country.
The Prince of Asturias was making his first public appearance since Juan Carlos announced his decision to abdicate after almost 39 years as King of Spain on Monday and for that reason Felipe's speech at the Prince of Viana Prize for Culture ceremony held in Navarra had raised great expectation.
The Prince said he respected the succession procedure already underway in the Spanish Parliament.
"I will limit myself to repeat by desire and conviction of dedicating all my strength with hope and expectation to the passionate task of continuing to serve the Spanish people and our beloved Spain. A nation, a united and diverse social and political community, which has its roots in a long history," said Felipe, who appealed for unity.
"In a time of difficulties such as the one we are going through, the experience of past times teaches us that only if we unite forces and put the common good ahead of individual interest, as well as giving an impulse to the initiative, the investigation and creativity of each person, will be able to advance towards something better."
"This is the route which all of us .. have to follow to face the future with conviction and widen the hope which open up ahead of us," he continued.
This Sunday will see King and Heir stand side by side in the center of Madrid as Spain celebrates Armed Forces day with the traditional military parade.