“Explanations, of what?” Juan Carlos I replies when questioned about an appointment that the Zarzuela limits to the private sphere. The emeritus has already left Sanxenxo for Vigo airport to fly to Madrid
There were two moments, just a handful of seconds, between the rainy midday in Sanxenxo and the afternoon. In the first scene yesterday, the journalists who have covered the King Emeritus’s stay of just over three days in the Pontevedra town asked him if he “desires” to meet today with Felipe VI and the rest of the Royal Family in the Operetta. “You ask, I’m here, in Sanxenxo,” Juan Carlos I responded to a reporter’s curiosity, before accompanying her laconic reply with a gesture, now more smiling, mimicking the ‘V’ for victory. Later, after the sailor awards ceremony at the Yacht Club, the former head of state changed his expression to record the desire to see his family and share “many hugs”, but without the intention of examining his conscience about the shadows of his conduct. “Explanations, of what?” He opposed, requested by La Sexta.
Both passages left the aftertaste of the distance that separates the person who wore the Crown for four decades and his son, widened by the unique circumstances of the former’s return to Spain. Felipe VI and Juan Carlos I meet again today at the Zarzuela in what the Royal House has reduced to a private meeting with the rest of the family: Queen Letizia, Infanta Sofía –Princess Leonor continues her studies in Wales– and the Queen Sofia, traveling to Miami on the 60th anniversary of her wedding.
The emeritus leaves Sanxenxo for Vigo Airport
The king emeritus left this Monday morning from the house of his friend Pedro Campos, in Sanxenxo, to the Peinador Airport, in Vigo, where he will take a plane to go to the Palacio de la Zarzuela.
Don Juan Carlos left the house in Nanín aboard his friend’s car shortly before 7:40 in the morning and, before the media, he reiterated that he expects “many hugs” from this meeting with his son.
In addition, in line with the majority of statements during his weekend stay in Sanxenxo, he once again thanked the press for their work.
It will be the first face-to-face, at least that has transpired, between the person who holds the Head of State and his predecessor since the emeritus was forced to establish his residence in Abu Dhabi 22 months ago given the erosion to which they were subjecting the monarchical institution investigations into his heritage and relationship with Corinna Larsen. The aristocrat is still fighting a lawsuit for harassment against Juan Carlos de Borbón in London. Zarzuela has resisted detailing the appointment between the two monarchs: there is no specific time or format – they sign up for a breakfast – nor is an image of the Royal Family planned. The last official of father and son dates from May 2019.
concord and discord
Everything that has been happening around the return to Spain of Juan Carlos I, once the Prosecutor’s Office closed the cases against him due to the triple combination of the fiscal regularizations carried out by the former head of state, the inviolability that protects him and the prescription of some of the investigated facts, has been written with the ink of the distance between the challenges that the King faces and the parallel reality staged by his father during his visit to Sanxenxo. Who was for decades a symbol of harmony between Spaniards has sowed discord with his private behavior while he reigned. The return to his country has not only not attenuated the discomfort, but it has become visible in the gestures and attitudes that have been observed, analyzed and interpreted with a magnifying glass, just what Zarzuela intended to avoid in the already difficult and complex normalization of the presence in Spain of Juan Carlos de Borbón.
The events of these last four days, in which the emeritus has not ruled on the shadows of his execution, have shown that the protocol agreed for the return carried with it the germ of disagreement. And that the crossed discomforts have transcended, until contaminating today’s reunion, underlines how the trip has made the wound bleed between Juan Carlos I and his heir, who stripped his father two years ago of his assignment as a member of the Royal House to the time that he himself renounced the paternal patrimonial legacy abroad.
The king emeritus wanted the reception at Zarzuela to allow him to stay in what was his residence for 40 years. Felipe VI, who came to see him before traveling to Sanxenxo avoiding the fuss. Neither one condition nor the other have been possible and the reunion has been tinged with coldness. It is unknown what the Royal House will allow today to transcend it, while the Government and the parties clash over the royal conduct and the very future of the Monarchy in the first chapter of a return that will be repeated on June 10.
A plaque for his “support” to sailing and his “impulse” to Sanxenxo
“Very well” were the words that Juan Carlos I repeated the most in a weekend of constant public exposure. And it is not for less because the king emeritus leaves Sanxenxo this morning visibly satisfied with his stay. Ovations, signs of affection, reunion with his grandson Pablo, barbecue with friends, haggling days with a new title and even a plaque in recognition of his “support” for sailing and his “boost” for tourism in the town.
Indifferent to the dust that has raised his first trip to Spain in almost two years and his lack of explanations about tax irregularities, the former head of state has not hidden. Quite the contrary. He has sought the spotlight in an ecosystem, the sangenjino, which promised to receive him practically in praise of crowds. Hardly whistles and insults were heard, and the concentration against the Monarchy, called by the BNG, only gathered a few dozen people.
The last show of support was received yesterday afternoon at the awards ceremony for the Interrías Trophy, the sailing competition in which the ‘Bribón’ won the 6mR category. The curious gathered on the jetty gave long applause to Juan Carlos I between shouts of “Long live the King!” and «Long live Spain!». In addition, the father of Felipe VI was presented with a special plaque of thanks for his commitment to the nautical competition and also to the tourist promotion of Sanxenxo.
Yesterday, he was finally able to compete aboard the ‘Bribón’. On Friday he chose not to participate in the test and follow it from a support boat due to the strong gusts. On Saturday the problem was the opposite, the absence of wind, which forced the two planned sleeves to be cancelled, although the boat went out to train. And yesterday, although only one of the two tests could be held, she finally competed.
In that race, the ‘Rogue’ signed the worst result of the entire weekend and finished fourth, although he was able to counteract it in the general classification thanks to the two victories on Friday. On June 10, Don Juan Carlos will return to the Real Club Náutico de Sanxenxo to try to revalidate the World Championship that he won in August 2019.
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