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  #281  
Old 09-21-2007, 04:59 PM
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Ladejesus, the history is not like that exactly. The mother of the princess had known an Italian young woman that was calling Letizia, and she liked the name. In epoch of Franco, to the children they were necessary to put catholic names, so to put the name to the girl her father had to look for the origin of the name that was an Italian Virgin. Because of it the manager of the record wrote it with z.

On other commentaries I cannot agree. The King Juan Carlos has taken part in a historical important moment, and in general he has exercised well his role, is a charismatic and nice personage ... but also he has committed his mistakes because he is human. The Prince Felipe, since it happens to any inheritor has lived and lives in the shade of his father, since it is normal ... while this shade does not disappear it is impossible to value him like king, because today per today he is not. It is necessary to value him as Prince, probably he does not have the great sharm of his father, but he can have other qualities. Neither goes to live the historical moment through that his father lived, but he will have to live and confront other things. To favor he has a good education and many years of formation, up to the moment he exercises well his role.

I cannot also agree in the opinion of which the Princess will never manage to be a good Queen... why not? ... really she has done up to the moment slightly negative. The majority of the critiques towards her lack seriousness, and if the rest of the members of the Royal Family, one was monitoring with the same magnifying glass of increase we would take many surprises to ourselves. I am interested that she does a serious work, which comes to an act and which is a good representative of the Spanish. She has adapted to the role difficult to be in a background (slightly difficult when all they you pledge in throwing to the first one), and she has taken with enough dignity the utilization of her person.

Probably the problem is that we pledge in looking for that one what the persons lack, and we do not look what they have. But sometimes what they have, though it is different from what others have, is equal of well, or enclosedly in occasions better. It is necessary to look towards ahead and not backward, and not to play the fortune-tellers, because the world changes to every minute.
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  #282  
Old 09-22-2007, 12:05 PM
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Thanks for the clarification lula. Marenostrum, I agree that it will be quite some time before the King is no longer able to reign for whatever reason, but, time passes very quickly, so even if he KJC is able to reign another 20+ years, Felipe and Letizia need to prepare now.

I'm interested in hearing how the people of Spain are feeling as to whether Felipe is ready to reign or deserving of the Throne. I'm not sure this is the right place for the question, so if it's not, moderators feel free to move it.
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  #283  
Old 09-22-2007, 03:28 PM
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I didn't follow Felipe's activities that closely before his marriage so I can't compare.

But it seems to me Juan Carlos is delegating more and more work to him in these three years. Felipe is taking on much more of the diplomatic missions overseas that JC used to take. Felipe seems to be solely responsible for relationships with Latin American countries, more than any professional diplomats of Spain. I was a bit surprised to see Felipe was the one who greeted and met Brazilian president, not just in the airport but in the office, recently when Brazilian president visited Spain. In most other monarchies when a president visits, it's the monarch who greeted him and it's the prime minister who met him in office to talk about official business. Felipe looks quite comfortable in the role and that will go a long way of enabling people to "see" him as the head of state. More than other crown princes, Felipe looks the part now.

Felipe is also taking the commanding role in millitary functions lately. A lot of JC's power comes from the millitary. Felipe needs to win over the millitary and it seems he's working on it. The part Letizia, or to a small part, his adorable daughter, help him with is to win over the public. From I read, his image has improved since his marriage. He was viewed as a bit aloof and pampered before. Now he's viewed as a loving family man. He's much warmer in his interaction with the public. Any image consultant to politicians would tell you that a loving family man is the winning image.

His place may be threatened by a strong, charastimatic and popular politician whom most people want to replace Felipe with. From all the Spanish posts here, it doesn't seem like the case.
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  #284  
Old 09-25-2007, 03:19 PM
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History being repeated

I have thoroughly read all comments made herein by you Spaniards. I am Greek but I believe in the concept of United Europe (with common Constitution, common Defense and common Foreign Service) and as such I see all Europeans as my fellow citizens and compatriots, if you will. However, you all Spaniards, are the only authority to determine the future and polity (political system) within your beautiful State, Spain, which has suffered a lot in the past - no other European country (excluding those under communist regime) has had such a long period of fascism (39 years of Franco as opposed to 36 years of Salazar in neighboring Portugal).

I am going to express some thoughts here, because I feel that history is repeating itself, like replicating DNA, so to speak. In Greece, we had a civil war immediately after WWII and, amidst this war, King George II returned to the country following a rigged plebiscite. However, the people tolerated the fraudulent result, because they feared Communism. Twenty eight years later, in 1974, an impeccably conducted referendum yielded 69% of the popular vote for the Republic, and 31% for the Monarchy. The king was young, had made a lot of mistakes, and his mother before him, but the reason behind the result was that the monarchy had fulfilled its purpose and it was high time for what Greece is all about, Pericles's Republic. Even if Greece had enjoyed the best monarch, say, one like QEII, the result could have differed quantitatively but the majority would still have been in favor of the Republic.

Your country passed overnight from institutionalized terror to democracy in a remarkable fashion such that the whole World has expressed veneration for King Juan Carlos de Borbon y Borbon e y Battenberg. In addition, you were lucky to have as queen consort a genuinely kind, perceptive and sensible person who had learnt a lot through the mistakes and vicissitudes of her own family. Let face it guys, it can't get any better than Sofia. She is a veritable sofia (=wisdom in Greek). However, it seems that the monarchy has now fulfilled its role and the "circle" is getting closer to being completed. Spain is no more at risk of becoming unstable or a dictatorship again (particularly in light of its membership to the EU). Thus, the issue, here, is no more whether a transition to Republic will ever happen but when.

What a participant, I believe crisinaki, said about the illegitimacy of transition, from fascism to democracy, is true. Even though it proved to be a wise move, it was Franco's decision, not the people's, to switch back to monarchy. Sooner or later, therefore, the question royale will come up and a referendum shall be in order and, like crisinaki put it superbly, Vox Populi, Vox Dei. Technically speaking, legitimacy cannot and will not be fully restored except via a referendum.

All the things you are quoting, such as the finances of the Palace, the yachts, the villas, the gossip are not causations but can act as precipitators/accelerators or, a good performance by Felipe, as a decelerating factor toward the inevitable. Some psychology scholars and public relations specialists have argued that a negative role here is that played by the Letizia factor, referring not to the specific individual, but the commoner. Why is that?

You folks, like us, Hellenes, and the Italians are headstrong Mediterranean people and find it difficult to reconcile yourselves with the somewhat absurd idea of birth rights let alone the concept of hereditary heads of state. The wedding of the Prince of the Asturias to a commoner has intensified this perception, because it is twice as absurd (and, not least, unfair) to envision "one like us" becoming a member of a clan with hereditary rights.
Moreover, I submit to you, familiarity and demystification are capable of prompting contempt and an implosion of the fantasy world - and royalty is about fantasy, pomp, circumstance and, above all, mystique.

A few decades back, QEII made a documentary portraying her daily life to which the wise Queen Mother was strongly opposed, arguing that showing to the world that a monarch's life is as mundane as theirs, the mystique, which stimulates and sustains the people's awe, fades away, and that can be fatal! And there is no surprise that, as the World Press indicated at the time, Queen Sofia was opposed to this marriage - and I believe it was not so much because Miss Ortiz was divorced but, more so, that she was a commoner and one from within the nation. Indeed, the familiarity factor ("one of us") brought contempt and the mystique surrounding the Bourbons was gone overnight!

For the time being, it would be most wise on the part of the good King to request the government and parliament to repeal all laws permitting prosecution of people criticizing the royal family (no matter how unfairly or rudely), to establish full transparency of their finances and to have the Prince of the Asturias roll up his sleeves and get down to business on an, at least, 8-hour-per-day basis - big privileges beget big duties.

However, I feel strenuously that, regardless of their continued good and genuine efforts, King Juan Carlos is likely to be the last king of Spain.
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  #285  
Old 09-25-2007, 04:25 PM
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Philippe, I remember a thing, the Spanish approved with their votes a Constitution that stable that in Spanish State is a Parliamentary Monarchy ... if the Spanish had not want the King Juan Carlos they had not voted for this constitution. So from the moment in which the Spanish voted for it, the Monarchy is more than legitimately recognized. Certain that in that moment was the most useful thing, if it wanted to follow forward.

Every country knows its history, and Spain knows its, and not only it knew a dictatorship, also it knew two attempts of republics and a civil war.

Nobody thinks in the S.XXI about a monarchy of divine origin,do not even think about the blue blood, of having an inept King who cannot serve to his country ... the monarchy is kept because it is useful for the State.

For my, major value of the parliamentary Monarchies, it is that a moderated power exists that does not belong to any political group, and that it represents to the State over these political problems. It is not a secret that the King solves many messes that the politicians create, with the changes that they do in their obsession of doing the opposite that the previous one did (the today news has remembered me the terrible relations of our Prime minister with the United States, for example).

Also it is true that before crisis the Royal Family plays a role more effective than the politicians. In the Spain of March, 2004, when the country was sunk in the uncertainty, the panic and the pain, and while the politicians were facing and confusing the population because two days later there were a national elections, many Spanish were feeling encouraged on having thought that there was a King who was the Chief of the State, and that there was a Royal Family who was representing the citizens.

Sometimes I think that the Monarchy is even more useful and necessary now that the beginning of the Transition; then it was necessary to construct the democracy and the politicians were ready to resign part of that one that they were defending, for the common good. Nowadays the politicians are closed increasingly in their own ideas, it is important to scratch more and more power, that to look what is good for all. Coming even to the paradoxes of not agreeing, in that one that they agree.
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  #286  
Old 09-25-2007, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highpriestess View Post
His place may be threatened by a strong, charastimatic and popular politician whom most people want to replace Felipe with. From all the Spanish posts here, it doesn't seem like the case.
Completely agree. Before Aznar was being talked a little since he was a strong and capable politician. But after March 11, PP lost the election, Aznar's credibility also lost a great deal. With the balance power between PP and PSOE without a superstar, two main political parties couldn't even agree on tiny little things, monarchy is for sure to stay at least for now regardless who is the King right now (JC or Felipe).
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  #287  
Old 09-25-2007, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lula View Post
Philippe, I remember a thing, the Spanish approved with their votes a Constitution that stable that in Spanish State is a Parliamentary Monarchy ... if the Spanish had not want the King Juan Carlos they had not voted for this constitution. So from the moment in which the Spanish voted for it, the Monarchy is more than legitimately recognized. Certain that in that moment was the most useful thing, if it wanted to follow forward.
.
I would respectfully disagree with you on this point. Yes, the Spaniards did vote and voted for it, but, at the time, they had no option, they were faced with a pseudo-dilemma, monarchy or fascism, and, desperate as they were, their instinct, of course, opted for monarchy.

Now, Spain is secure and successful and a full member of the EU and there is no way, whatsoever, that the country could regress to a dictatorship. At this juncture, it is impossible for Portugal, Italy, Spain or Greece to return to a dictatorship.
You would agree, I am sure, that the question presented back then to the Spaniards was a "one way street", monarchy or the tanks. And you would agree again that there was not that much of an option there! Right? Thence, crisinaki's argument about legitimacy is valid. He/she is not doubting the legality or fairness of that vote, but the legitimacy of it or, if you prefer, its significance which is an entirely different issue. In other words, the people indicated that they preferred parliamentary monarchy over institutionalized terror, but they didn't indicate that they preferred monarchy over a republic. And this qustion must be answered at some point.

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Originally Posted by lula View Post
Every country knows its history, and Spain knows its, and not only it knew a dictatorship, also it knew two attempts of republics and a civil war.
This is exactly crisinaki's point. That because Spain knew her history, she had no alternative, at the time, but to accept the monarchy as the only viable solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lula View Post
Nobody thinks in the S.XXI about a monarchy of divine origin,do not even think about the blue blood, of having an inept King who cannot serve to his country ... the monarchy is kept because it is useful for the State.

For my, major value of the parliamentary Monarchies, it is that a moderated power exists that does not belong to any political group, and that it represents to the State over these political problems. It is not a secret that the King solves many messes that the politicians create, with the changes that they do in their obsession of doing the opposite that the previous one did (the today news has remembered me the terrible relations of our Prime minister with the United States, for example).

Also it is true that before crisis the Royal Family plays a role more effective than the politicians. In the Spain of March, 2004, when the country was sunk in the uncertainty, the panic and the pain, and while the politicians were facing and confusing the population because two days later there were a national elections, many Spanish were feeling encouraged on having thought that there was a King who was the Chief of the State, and that there was a Royal Family who was representing the citizens.

Sometimes I think that the Monarchy is even more useful and necessary now that the beginning of the Transition; then it was necessary to construct the democracy and the politicians were ready to resign part of that one that they were defending, for the common good. Nowadays the politicians are closed increasingly in their own ideas, it is important to scratch more and more power, that to look what is good for all. Coming even to the paradoxes of not agreeing, in that one that they agree.
You may be absolutely right here. I wouldn't argue for or against your analysis. And, again, your intuition may be 100% correct!
But at some point, sooner or later, the Spanish people will have to renew or confirm their choice for monarchy or republic, in light of the reality and the circumstances of the 21st century and the strength of the institutions.
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  #288  
Old 09-26-2007, 03:34 AM
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The Monarchy was the best option, more useful ... but not the only one ... and if the people had voted in against? ... it had not been intelligent .... but it might have happened. From the moment in which something is decided by the citizens you risk to these take the decision that they want, another thing is that the citizens impose the reason in their decisions.

Since I have commented previously to "play" at changing the form of the State it is not anything intelligent, and less when the form of State that exists works well. If it was not working well, if the King or the Prince were the useless some that they put in danger to the country, it would be indispensable, but like they are not, to enter a process that can break the balance of the country, it is not intelligent. And I believe that the attitude of the Spanish politicians, it demonstrates every day that there would be many difficulties in order that they were capable of leading a transition like that.
From 11M and the elections that were two days later, the politicians both principal groups of the country, have stagnated and scarcely they have aptitude to take both decisions that affect all the citizens .... and in this panorama those who have gone out gaining they are the minority groups.
I believe that in general the citizens, already have enough with it, and they do not have interest in debates that are not going to improve their life but they can complicate it.
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  #289  
Old 09-26-2007, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lula View Post
The Monarchy was the best option, more useful ... but not the only one ... and if the people had voted in against? ... it had not been intelligent .... but it might have happened. From the moment in which something is decided by the citizens you risk to these take the decision that they want, another thing is that the citizens impose the reason in their decisions.

Since I have commented previously to "play" at changing the form of the State it is not anything intelligent, and less when the form of State that exists works well. If it was not working well, if the King or the Prince were the useless some that they put in danger to the country, it would be indispensable, but like they are not, to enter a process that can break the balance of the country, it is not intelligent. And I believe that the attitude of the Spanish politicians, it demonstrates every day that there would be many difficulties in order that they were capable of leading a transition like that.
From 11M and the elections that were two days later, the politicians both principal groups of the country, have stagnated and scarcely they have aptitude to take both decisions that affect all the citizens .... and in this panorama those who have gone out gaining they are the minority groups.
I believe that in general the citizens, already have enough with it, and they do not have interest in debates that are not going to improve their life but they can complicate it.
I believe the discussion is getting diverted from the crux of the issue.
What I discussed was not the pros and cons of monarchy vs. republic in the Spanish setting.
I would have no opinion on that and, if I did, it wouldn't matter. Only the Spaniards can have an opinion on that and their opinion is not known as of this juncture.
What happened some 30 years or so ago, is that they voted for the monarchy but they had no viable alternative to choose from. The alternative at the time was to continue with institutionalized terror or chaos, which obviously was not an option.
And this point you have systematically avoided to discuss.
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  #290  
Old 09-26-2007, 11:39 AM
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You have said it, there was no another viable alternative. The people always look for the most viable alternatives. The logical thing is that if the persons want that their country works, they choose that one that offers them confidence. But if this election is done in a democratic frame, it is totally legitimate.

Alternatives there were many, but a process began to look for an alternative that was good for all, and was a long and complicated process, and the process the King did not do it only but in there took part members of all the ideologies. And if it existed that viable alternative was because there was a work to unite wills. To join a Franco supporter and a communist is not precisely easy, and the King had many things against.
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  #291  
Old 09-26-2007, 12:29 PM
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The children see in the King a symbol of the unit
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  #292  
Old 09-26-2007, 01:13 PM
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You have said it, there was no another viable alternative. The people always look for the most viable alternatives. The logical thing is that if the persons want that their country works, they choose that one that offers them confidence. But if this election is done in a democratic frame, it is totally legitimate.

Alternatives there were many, but a process began to look for an alternative that was good for all, and was a long and complicated process, and the process the King did not do it only but in there took part members of all the ideologies. And if it existed that viable alternative was because there was a work to unite wills. To join a Franco supporter and a communist is not precisely easy, and the King had many things against.
Υοu are absolutely correct, but that was 30 or so years ago! People cannot live on with the past. People must be looking forward to the future with optimism, and the future is bright!
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  #293  
Old 09-26-2007, 01:39 PM
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It many people would like Philippe, but the reality is that in Spain, with their attitudes the politicians seem to go towards behind instead of towards ahead. They do not have aptitude to put in agreement in the things that really worry the people, and it is a problem.
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  #294  
Old 09-26-2007, 02:07 PM
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It many people would like Philippe, but the reality is that in Spain, with their attitudes the politicians seem to go towards behind instead of towards ahead. They do not have aptitude to put in agreement in the things that really worry the people, and it is a problem.
If the people cannot govern themselves then nobody can do ιt for them! There are no Messiahs around! The citizens of United Europe are absolutely safe. They need not worry about dangers. The dangers are gone for good!
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  #295  
Old 09-27-2007, 11:13 AM
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I have a distinct feeling that the death of JC will lead to te end of the monarchy in Spain.

In many ways it is inevitable because the very way in which he came to throne means that HE is the instiution. He embodies the role and what it means to be a king in Spain.

It's a shame because Felipe and Letizia are amongst the most hard-working Royals in Europe, If you were to go on sheer workload, enthusiasm and dedication alone then I can think of several other princes who should be first for the chop (I'm not speaking literally!).

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Originally Posted by crisiñaki View Post
The Infantas shouldn't be out and about as much as they do, that's the Asturias prerrogative, it's the only country where the siblings of the heir have broadened their agenda instead of shortening it, it's not their responsability to mantain the institution, they can just dissapear in the background and left the Asturias alone like the Kings' sisters did
Personally I disagree. Cristina and Elena both reap the benefits of their position and therefore they should work for the privileges they receive. They are just as much a part of the monarchy as Felipe and it's their duty to preserve it. It's quite selfish to burden one person alone with this responsibility.
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  #296  
Old 09-27-2007, 03:21 PM
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I have a distinct feeling that the death of JC will lead to te end of the monarchy in Spain.

In many ways it is inevitable because the very way in which he came to throne means that HE is the instiution. He embodies the role and what it means to be a king in Spain.
You are absolutely right but there is a way, albeit not devoid of risk, to circument that. That would be to affirm the people's choice for the monarchy through a plebiscite but while King Juan Carlos is still alive. If they wait until the king passes on, there will be no such chance because the evnts will be dramatic.
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by crisiñaki View Post
The Infantas shouldn't be out and about as much as they do, that's the Asturias prerrogative, it's the only country where the siblings of the heir have broadened their agenda instead of shortening it, it's not their responsability to mantain the institution, they can just dissapear in the background and left the Asturias alone like the Kings' sisters did
Elena and Cristina are still part of the Royal Family and they receive allowance from the King/taxpayers that's why they're still active with their royal duties. When Felipe becomes King then that's when they will disappear in the background because they will no longer be considered part of the Royal Family but as the King's relatives just like Pilar and Margarita. I'm just not sure if their allowance would also be terminated. Leonor and Sofia will take their place with royal duties when they become of age.
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Old 09-27-2007, 04:03 PM
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I can think of several other princes who should be first for the chop (I'm not speaking literally!).
I'm speechless!
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  #299  
Old 09-27-2007, 05:41 PM
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Thank you Philippe Egalite' for your great post! It was very interesting to read.
I hope the monarchy in Spain survives for many, many years but I'm afraid that won't happen. Most people in Spain adore the Kings. King Juan Carlos was (still is, of course!) an extraordinary man for Spain especially in those turbulant years pos-Franco. And Queen Sofia is the best Queen Spain could have. She is perfect in her role, she never makes a wrong step, she is a Lady 24 hours a day.
About Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia: I think they are very nice, he is, academically speaking, very well prepared for his future role and they are much in love but I think that's not enough. Letizia was a good choice for Felipe because he loves her but she was not the best choice for Spain. I don't see Letizia with enough moral strenght to support all the dificulties that the future will bring them. I see Letizia as a demanding woman (that's my perception about her), someone who can't control her nerves and I believe she is not a union factor in the Family. I don't have scientifical proofs for what I said right now, but that's how I see her.
Since the Spanish people are "Juan Carlistas" but no "Royalists" and since Letizia won't be a good queen for Spain (IMO), I don't think the Monarchy in Spain will survive much longer.
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Old 09-27-2007, 05:54 PM
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If a monarchy is destined to collapse,it wouldn't happen overnigh and by presence of one person(like letizia),there should be series of problems,series of factors,mistakes by royal family and the people around them. i don't think letizia would be the reason.
but i think people of spain decide by their heart more than their mind if i observe right,they are sentimental nation,so polititions and those who wants a republic can easily abuse people's feeling to get what they want(people of my country made this mistake although the monarch and RF were responsible by their wrong doings in people's choice.
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