A simple experiment helps to gauge the situation of the Spanish monarchy. If this Christmas Eve had been issued simultaneously two messages of Felipe VI and Juan Carlos I on different channels, which one would have achieved a greater audience? Therein lies the problem, in having two active kings informatively speaking. And in that the father’s shadow is not only more powerful than the son’s reign, but suffocates it and threatens to capsize it.
The last trap for elephants brought by Juan Carlos I in the trajectory of Felipe VI is the expectation created around a christmas message anodyne, a catalog of common places that would not help an adolescent student to pass a summary exam of 2020. If the pandemic has served at least to mitigate the impact of the three investigations of the Supreme Court, against the longest-lived Head of State in recent Spain, La Zarzuela has not managed to reflect the collective sentiment before the runaway virus. Except for those who get excited by the phrase “each person matters a lot.”
The King’s speech is measured by his absences, and Felipe VI does not dare with Juan Carlos I. In editions prior to this fateful Christmas Eve in which “many families have not been able to meet as you were thinking”, the vague allusion to the father would have been crushed by the deafening bustle of the diners. Even with half a dozen cohabitants scattered around, it is likely that a large number of viewers will go as unnoticed as this viewer the paragraph “ethical principles that oblige us all without exceptions, and that are above any consideration, of nature to be, even personal or family “. That was it, a paragraph that could be inserted into any speech, whether it was relevant or not. And only fitted after arduous negotiation with the Government, so it is to be feared that the wording that emerged from the palace would introduce exculpatory “considerations”.
Beyond the royal version of “someone has done something”, it would only be missing that the massive fraud to the Treasury or the possible perception of bribes were tolerable when committed by a family member. Felipe VI has been below “justice is the same for all”, the oracle of Juan Carlos I who in fact condemned Iñaki Urdangarin.
Even admitting that the current King stripped the salary and expelled his father from the country throughout 2020, has preferred not to participate in these traumatic decisions to some citizens who are limited to sympathize with the ravages of the pandemic. From ambivalent phrases like “Neither the virus nor the economic crisis are going to bend us”, with a poor choice of the verb that has been used precisely in positive to “bend” the famous curve.
The expressive modesty of Felipe VI before the paternal debauchery had to be transferred by force to the absence of mentions to the hundreds of retired soldiers, who they have addressed the monarch with coup instincts. The presence of the army in the message is limited to honoring its role in the pandemic. Paradoxically, the degradation of Juan Carlos I protects his son from the noise of sabers, muffles him. The greatest disappointment of the authors of the pronouncements is that their manifestos are more dangerous to the state than mere corruption, but they do not subjugate the audience.
A son cannot do everything before a father who is alive, to whom he succeeds, who placed him in his position and who he lived in the same house while he committed his little presumed outrages. Felipe VI has ignored the request for a public stripping. Many of those who demanded a harakiri from him will not hesitate to excavate balsamic virtues from a message that goes behind events. They will even gloss the farewell phrase, “it will not be difficult for the year 2021 to improve to this 2020.” An excellent finish for an ironic intervention in the presentation of some film awards, perhaps worrying in a head of state diagnosing the hardest moment of his country.
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