That became clear Monday when the new ambassadors from several South and Central American nations presented their credentials to Spain's King Juan Carlos at a ceremony at the palace in Madrid.
The 73-year-old king was welcoming the new ambassador from Honduras, Norman Garcia Paz, when the slightly eerie sound of a giggling child rang out, El Pais newspaper reported.
The assembled ambassadors froze as they realized the incongruous sound was coming from a cell phone.
After a few seconds of uncertainty, His Majesty moved to a sideboard, reached in a drawer for his phone and put it on lock. He politely apologized, then smoothly resumed the meet-and-greet.
The king didn't reveal what inspired his unusual ring tone, but he and Queen Sofia do have eight grandchildren. The youngest are the 5-year-old Infanta Leonor and 3-year-old Infanta Sofia, daughters of Crown Prince Felipe and Crown Princess Letizia, and 5-year-old Irene Urdangarin, daughter of Infanta Cristina.
It's not the first time the Spanish monarch has made headlines for phone ring tones. At a summit in November 2007, Juan Carlos famously told Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, "Why don't you shut up?" The outburst was turned into a ring tone that became a hit across Spain.