This Saturday marks seven years since the proclamation of Felipe VI, when La Zarzuela believed that his worst reputational problem was called Iñaki Urdangarin, brother-in-law of the Monarch finally sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison for the case Nóos of corruption. Spaniards suspended (with a score of 3.6 out of 10 in the CIS of May 2014) an institution that had traditionally occupied the podium of the best valued, and the problems have multiplied since then because they no longer affect incorporations to the royal family, but the matrix, the Bourbon that returned the Monarchy to Spain after the Franco dictatorship.
The dose horribilis de la Corona began in April 2012, 7,600 kilometers from Palacio, in Botswana, on a hunt with businesswoman Corinna Larsen. The CIS has not included questions about the Monarchy in its barometers since 2015.
In March 2020, Don Felipe announced that he was renouncing any economic inheritance that could correspond to his father, who was also withdrawing the allocation of the General State Budgets (194,232 euros per year) to weather the scandal of opaque foundations and the donation of 100 million dollars from Saudi Arabia investigated by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office. In August, Don Juan Carlos announced that he was leaving the country in which he had reigned for almost four decades in order not to continue harming his son and the institution after a leak of information about frontmen and accounts in tax havens and Larsen’s statement before a Swiss prosecutor assuring that the emeritus king had donated 65 million euros “out of gratitude.”
A Metroscopia survey on the occasion of those seven years of reign of Felipe VI shows that the majority (66%) consider that they have taken “correct” measures in relation to their father. The poll, of 1,300 interviews, was conducted between June 9 and 10.
Pedro Sánchez did not inform his partner, Unidas Podemos, of those conversations with La Zarzuela to plan the departure of the country’s emeritus king to the United Arab Emirates, which caused internal tensions within the coalition Executive. There were also in the opposition. The decision to leave Spain was criticized by the then PP spokesperson in Congress, Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo, who assured that Don Juan Carlos “should not have left” and pointed to a “harmful influence of the Government”. Those words were one of the arguments used by Pablo Casado to stop her. In recent days, the leader of the popular has also disavowed the Madrid president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, for suggesting that the King could refuse to sign the pardons to the independentistas condemned by the process, something it cannot do in a parliamentary monarchy. Despite the clashes over some statements made by ministers of United We Can, the PP and the PSOE have tried at this time to isolate Felipe VI from his father’s scandals and were in favor of promoting a Crown law whose content has not been outlined yet. All requests to create committees of inquiry in the lower house on the king emeritus have been rejected by the bipartisanship.
Referendum on the State model
In June 2014, after the abdication of Juan Carlos I, according to a survey by Metroscopia for EL PAÍS, the majority of Spaniards (62%) believed that a referendum on the State model should be called “at some point”. In this case, 49% would support the monarchy to continue and 36%, the establishment of the Republic. By age, the Monarchy beat the Republic by five points in the 18 to 34 age bracket; by four in those from 35 to 54 and by 33 points in those over 55.
What is the current photograph of the institution? The Metroscopia survey indicates that 77% believe that these years have been “a period with many more complications and difficulties than usual” for Felipe VI; 74% believe that the Monarch “has adequately performed his duties” compared to 22% who believe that he has not; For 89%, Don Felipe is “a person qualified for the position”; 78% inspire “confidence” compared to 20% who do not; 71% consider that “it treats all political leaders equally regardless of their ideology” compared to 24% who think otherwise and for 79% “the criticism fits well.” In the case of Doña Letizia, who was proclaimed queen on June 19, 2014 in the presence of her taxi driver grandfather, the level of approval is high (65%), but lower than that of her husband.
The Metroscopy survey includes questions about the future. Asked by Princess Eleanor, who is 15 years old, 65% believe that she will become queen and 27% that she will not. In February 2020, the percentages were very similar: 66% versus 29%. By age group, the percentage that thinks that the eldest daughter of Felipe VI will come to reign rises to 73% in the 18 to 34 age group, 19 percentage points more than among those over 65, where this perception falls up to 54%. Those who believe that he will not inherit the throne are 24% among the youngest and 31% among those who have already reached retirement age. Last March, the Princess held her first official solo act at the Cervantes Institute. The House of the King strengthens its role to try to strengthen the image of continuity of the Crown.
On June 19, 2014, Felipe VI delivered a proclamation speech very different from the one his father had made 39 years earlier. The son was speaking to a Parliament elected at the polls, to a fully democratic and non-denominational State and to a society disenchanted by the scandals of an institution whose first mission is to be exemplary. The father spoke to a hemicycle of attorneys and councilors of the kingdom, most of whom wanted to hear that everything had been tied up and well tied – whom he had to contain – and to a society eager for democracy that listened to him from home and wanted to see in him the promoter of the change (who should be excited). Felipe VI promised to embody “a renewed monarchy for a new time”, “integrity, honest and transparent” and earn “continuously”, “day by day” the “appreciation, respect and trust” of the citizens. He did not imagine then how difficult the man who invented and destroyed Juancarlism was going to make it.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.