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Juan Carlos of Spain February 22, 2014

Posted by anagasto in history, Spain.
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General Franco  became the head of Spain after he won the civil war. He had to decide what to do about the Spanish royals. They were living in exile, but they wanted little Juan Carlos to be brought up a Spaniard in Spain.

Franco was hated by about half of Spain.

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Franco and Juan Carlos seemed to get along well. The rebel General trusted the young Prince and wanted him to become his successor.

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Juan Carlos married Princess Sofia of Greece. They were both rather poor and toured the country on little money to introduce themselves to the people.

The Franco press had a way of ignoring them, and their official status lacked definition.

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The Prince and his princess at the bullfight, where they were very rarely to be seen. The photo is only here to smile back at you.

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Sometimes they went out for an evening walk, all four of them : on the left Franco’s wife, Doña Carmen; next to her Prince Juan Carlos and Princess Sofia and to the right the old Franco looking insecure, which he wasn’t.***

.***  The story:

When he was on his deathbed, he heard the crowds gathering in front of his window and he called his wife:

Carmen! Carmen! What are all these people doing out there,  right  in front of my window? —
They have come to say goodbye to you, dear. —
What ! said Franco:, and where the hell do they think they are going ?

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Franco died. Spaniards remember the day and the hour and the moment they heard the news on TV.

Franco had ruled for 40 years.

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According to law, Juan Carlos became the new Head of State. He looked too young and much too weak for the job, and he lacked experience.

Trouble started immediately.

It was as if things were going to fall apart in a rather ugly way. There were bombings in Madrid. Many people got scared.

But  the Spaniards surprised the world and themselves by swallowing lots of anger, and so they came up with a modern Constitution.

The extreme right and Juan Carlos relinquished their power, and Juan Carlos became King.

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The royal parents with their three children.

The little one, the center of the photo, is the crown prince, Felipe.

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The kids grew up. The one to the right, Felipe ,  got married ….

….. to Letizia, a journalist and  TV anchor, the future Queen of Spain.

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Juan Carlos likes motorcycles.

He is a ham operator (though by now he would have discovered the advantages of a laptop).

Politically he has to be neutral, and in that regard he has been very successful, though there have been some little incidents :

por qué no te callas

……. ¿Por qué no te callas?

Why don’t you shut up?  said Juan Carlos  to interrupt Chavez who was delivering a speech that went sour.

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The famous Royal Palace in Madrid is not inhabited, but open to tourists.

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Juan Carlos and his Queen, Sofia, live at a palace outside Madrid called La Zarzuela.

Zarzuela palace

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He is by now a grandpa and almost universally well liked.   The little kid does not seem to realize he is being addressed by a crowned head of State.

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And his Queen ?

Little is known about her, because she is rarely in the news (and I always forget to look up the society pages.) She is  brave and constant,  takes over the family business when her husband is abroad, and she is well liked.

She may in fact be the stronger of the two.

La Reina

Queen Sofia: the photo was published on June 2, 2014, the day when King Juan Carlos abdicated.

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Prince-Juan-Carlos and Doña Sofia

This photo is  a poster of AllPosters.com.

Look up the home page  of the Spanish royal family.

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Location_Spain_EU_Europe_world

Location of Spain

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Added April 19, 2012

This post was first published in 2009.

Recently, the Royal Family have been in the news, some personal, some legal, but none official, and now Don Juan Carlos  had  a hunting accident. He had been invited to kill an elephant , and the story broke because he broke his hip.

Most felt terribly sorry for the elephant and angry at the King.

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Later, April 19:  Video of Don Juan Carlos leaving his hospital room and saying he is sorry.

http://politica.elpais.com/politica/2012/04/18/actualidad/1334736994_093121.html

I have not been able to find the complete declaration in Spanish.  It is very short. He says he is better and he thanks the doctors for their help. He mentions the trip to Africa and says that he realizes he made a mistake. He says he is sorry, and that it will not happen again. He is looking forward to taking up his work again.

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Added February 2014

Things are not going very well. The best I can do now is to add a Peridis cartoon, because there is no one like him to capture a tragic or sad situation so gently + clearly + bravely.

media scandal Peridis

The King is talking to the Queen. His royal coat is patched and in fact he has a limp.

The King says: “The worst of all is the media scandal, and to add insult to injury, the official photo of myself is presiding the court proceedings.”

Peridis’ collection is at http://elpais.com/

However, I do believe that Peridis is sorely wrong as to the Queen’s priorities. She ought to get a monument for the lonely way she resisted public opinion recently, when some in her family got into trouble with the law on money matters.   And she resisted without a frown, without irritating the media.

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June 2, 2014: Don Juan Carlos

abdicates

El Rey abdica

The decision had been taken on March 31.

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The son of Juan Carlos becomes

King Felipe IV of Spain.

 

felipe-vi-leticia-ortiz-rey-reina-2014-14

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las infantas

For a complete report on the Proclamation see

http://mx.hola.com/realeza/201406197292/coronacion-rey-felipe-VI-proclamacion-cortes/

from Spain’s http://www.hola.com/

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Comments»

1. nikolaykotev - May 14, 2009

Dear Friend!
I have a new blog for modern and contemporary history – “Nikolaykotev`s blog” with URL http://nikolaykotev.wordpress.com. If you want, you can see it on this adress!
Best wishes
Nikolay Kotev
Sofia, Bulgaria

2. Yvonne - August 6, 2009

What language do they speak at home?

3. cantueso - March 19, 2010

Sorry, Yvonne, this is a little late. I did not see your message.
They would probably speak Spanish. Maybe in the beginning, way back, they spoke English to each other.

4. 223remote - August 12, 2010

Great pictures and a great idea as a post!


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