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Old 05-19-2006, 09:52 PM
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Relationship between Jaime Peñafiel and the Royal Family

Originally published by El Mundo in 1996.
Rough translation by myself.

Seventeen years will have passed when on Monday, the 25th, Sofia, born a Greek, steps again, as a Spanish queen, on the land that saw her born. It’s yet to be seen, even by herself, what will be her fist flashback: that of the sad and dramatic visit in 1981 when she came Greece for the funeral of her mother, or the joyful day of her wedding with Juan Carlos. In Greece, instead, the official position is rather laconic: “Sofia comes back as the Queen of Spain and that’s it”. Greece’s internal politics are none of her business”. Both the Greek and Spanish sides are working for the visit not to turn into a political issue that could annoy the Greeks.

On May 8, Greek newspapers announced the visit of the Spanish King and Queen. It was brief news, no more than 5 or 6 lines where the key points of their visit were highlighted: a meeting with the Greek Prime Minister, with the leaders of the political parties and with representatives of the economy and industries. Unlike what was published in Spanish newspapers, the King will not give a speech in the Greek parliament but he and the Queen will pay a private visit to Tatoi, the place where the tombs of King Paul and Queen Federica are located. The Queen will also visit her old classmates from the Mitera School, which was founded by her own mother, where the Queen studied and worked before getting married. This comeback comes in the frame of a State visit, the first that King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia pay to Greece as monarchs. It is curious to note that in the 23 years of his reign, Greece is the only country in the European Union that the Spanish sovereigns have not yet visited.

GREEK ROOTS.
Greece is a place with several meanings to our Queen. Not only her roots can be traced there but also it’s the place where her parents are buried. Besides, his brother Constantine was the last Greek King until a referendum abolished the monarchy and proclaimed the Republic. It is well known the aversion that the recently departed Constantine Caramanlis, the promoter president of the referendum that abolished the monarchy in 1974, felt for all the Greek royal family, but even more for Queen Federica. He prevented that King Constantine, living in exile, came back to Greece. The Greek government has avoided to give publicity to such a delicate issue, especially now that the former King has turned to the Commission of the European Tribunal to appeal the decision of the Greek government that confiscated all his belongings (what he calls his “private fortune”), forbade him to use the title of king and revoked his citizenship, violating the article XV of the Declaration of Human Rights (“Everybody has the right to a citizenship).

For the Greeks, Sofia, besides being the Queen of Spain, is the sister of former King Constantine and the daughter of King Paul and Queen Federica, a woman with an authoritarian and megalomaniac personality that was hated by many politicians and citizens due to her interventions in the Greek political life. Even though the opinion of the Greeks about Queen Sofia is rather neutral, the past of her family and the unfortunate comments by her brother about the Republican regime have always indirectly had an influence on her.

LAVISH WEDDING.
But there was a time in which Sofia had many Greeks on her side: the day of her wedding with the then future King of Spain. In 1962, a year in which Greeks were having many financial difficulties and many were practically forced to emigrate, Queen Frederica demanded the parliament to pass a law that would provide a dowry for Sofia of nine million drachmas, a huge amount of money in those times. On May 14, 1962 there were three weddings celebrated in Athens for Sofia and Juan Carlos: civil, Catholic and Orthodox, but none of the opposition political parties attended the festivities. The lavish ceremony of imperial style, paid with money from the State, had a cost of 75 million drachma. Several princes and kings were invited, and only from Spain more than 3,000 guests were invited.

Two years later Constantine was enthroned upon the death of King Paul. Constantine was only a young 24 years old man with very little experience and was advised by her almighty mother. When the military junta emerged, on April 21 1967, the King signed an agreement with the military and continued to reign until December. It was then that he tried to eliminate the military junta with a coup that was destined to fail because he had very little support from the army. Constantine had no choice but to self-exile and, seven years later, when the military junta came to an end, the Greeks had a referendum in which they chose to have a republic with 64% of the votes. Constantine would never come back to Greece but on two occasions: the funeral of her mother and as a tourist in 1993, the latter caused several reactions among the Greeks.

A DAY IN ATHENS.
Sofia would not come back either. She was in Greece when the junta emerged in 1967 and she came back in June the same year to attend the baptism of her nephew Pavlos. Her visit in 1981 when her mother died had a length of one day. In 1991, a visit was being planed for the King and Queen of Spain. It was being planed that the King and Queen would stay outside Athens and would not visit the Parliament, but the visit did not materialize. In September 1996 there were elections in Greece and Konstantin Stephanopoulos, the winner, sent a letter to the Spanish King inviting him and the Queen to officially visit Greece. The King accepted the invitation.

A DISCREET QUEEN.
Even though Greeks tend to be very Republican (a poll showed that only 20% of them prefer to have a monarchy as a form of government) they recognize the role of Juan Carlos in the restitution of democracy in Spain and the discreet profile of the Queen.The King and Queen will not stay, as it is usually done, in an official State residence. Instead, they will stay at the Grande Bretagne Hotel. From the suite that they will be assigned, the Queen will be able to contemplate, probably with a great deal of nostalgia, the Royal Palace (now the Presidential Palace), the place in which he said “I do” on her civil wedding. The “I do” made Sofia Spanish and as such, she comes back for the 1st time since 1981 when she came to Greece only as a daughter accompanying her mother’s body. It’s been 17 years and Sofia, the Greek Queen of Spain, will come back home with a tremendous emotional load in her heart.
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Old 05-19-2006, 10:23 PM
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People, go read some history book!

The historical faults of this post are innumerous and I am bothered to address just a few:

First and foremost, Sofia has visited many times Greece in the last 10 years, including unofficial visit in 1997, openings of Picasso's work exhibitions in Athens, and attendings of christenings of members of the greek royal family and memorials for her parents, the last one in February.

The ex King Constantine has accepted the result of the referendum of 1974 and also the presidential republic as a regime for Greece. He has also said that he does not believe that monarchy will never be established again in Greece and has claimed his respect for democracy, the constitution and the laws.

The result of the referendum of 1974 was 69% for a presidential republic, and not 64%

The King has never signed any sord of agreement with the colonels of the coup of '67. His attempt to overthrow them with an anti-coup in December of the same year leaves no space for doubt.

As for the megalomanic and authoritarian characterisations for the later Queen mother, Queen Frederika, I have nothing to comment on. I have got too bored talking on that issue. The virtues of all her three children can speak of it
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Old 05-19-2006, 10:54 PM
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iannis, I believe you that many of the facts listed in the article are wrong. After all it was written by Jaime Penafiel and you may know that he doesn't really like the Spanish queen and neves ceases to look for the opportunity to criticize her (I just did the translation, so please don't blame me!) However, I'll share the link from where I found the article:

http://www.elmundo.es/magazine/num136/textos/sofi1.html

Also, please keep in mind that the article was published in 1996, and of course the Queen has made a few other visits to Greece since that time.
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Old 05-20-2006, 01:22 AM
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Too bad that most of our fellow Forum members can't read Spanish. Penafiel tells the story of Sofia as a woman in limbo, he calls her the Greek Queen of Spain and when he talks about her visit he emphazises to reflect in Sofia the negativity associated with her brother King Constatine.
Every line of his old article seems to carry a poisonous underline against her. Of course, he is not that open on his attack like when he trashes Letizia and her family on his current articles . No doubt out of fear that King Juan Carlos would go after him in person and tell him off, as he deserves,for insulting his wife and one of the most beloved Queens Spain ever had.
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Old 05-20-2006, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo
Too bad that most of our fellow Forum members can't read Spanish. Penafiel tells the story of Sofia as a woman in limbo, he calls her the Greek Queen of Spain and when he talks about her visit he emphazises to reflect in Sofia the negativity associated with her brother King Constatine.
Every line of his old article seems to carry a poisonous underline against her. Of course, he is not that open on his attack like when he trashes Letizia and her family on his current articles . No doubt out of fear that King Juan Carlos would go after him in person and tell him off, as he deserves,for insulting his wife and one of the most beloved Queens Spain ever had.
I totally agree Toledo and anyway the majority of people in Spain know what Jaime Peñafiel is like, so I doubt that this article would've provoked much reaction from anybody.
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Old 05-20-2006, 02:37 PM
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The King has always been very protective of his family, specially the women so maybe that's why Peñafiel is kind of banned of the "big media" and almost no one believes him
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Old 05-20-2006, 02:52 PM
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I think he has lost all his credibility as a journalist and whatever he writes about the Spanish Royal Family is simply ignored by most of the Spaniards.
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Old 05-20-2006, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zarzuela
I think he has lost all his credibility as a journalist and whatever he writes about the Spanish Royal Family is simply ignored by most of the Spaniards.
Peñafiel has a grudge against Queen Sofia, he blames her for his daughter's suicide because he says he called the Queen for help and she "didn't" help him, I personally cannot understand why would the Queen solve his problems
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Old 05-20-2006, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crisiñaki
Peñafiel has a grudge against Queen Sofia, he blames her for his daughter's suicide because he says he called the Queen for help and she "didn't" help him, I personally cannot understand why would the Queen solve his problems
I agree with you!
We can't blame someone for the mistakes of other people! I know, you must be thinking i like too much of the Queen to say she is guilty! But in this case, i'm impartial, we don't know what the Queen said and you don't know how Peñafiel asked her help!
IMO, Peñafiel feels guilty for her daughter's suicide, but he had to find someone to unburden his bad feelings and unfortunatelly he choose the Queen so he could do that!
I think also he don't want to understaind that nobody is guilty for his daughter's suicide and he souldn't blame someone for his mistakes and the mistakes of his daughter!
Maybe you don't agree with me, but this is my opinion about this subject!
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Old 05-20-2006, 11:23 PM
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So he is just projecting his own guilt on his daugther's suicide by throwing that responsibility on Queen Sofia? He should look in the mirror and realize the cause of her tragedy could be closer to his home than to any Royal Palace. The Queen did not raise his daugther.
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Old 05-20-2006, 11:37 PM
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I dont like PENAFIEL, ALSO WHY HE BLAME queen sofia?
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Old 05-21-2006, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo
Too bad that most of our fellow Forum members can't read Spanish. Penafiel tells the story of Sofia as a woman in limbo, he calls her the Greek Queen of Spain and when he talks about her visit he emphazises to reflect in Sofia the negativity associated with her brother King Constatine.
Every line of his old article seems to carry a poisonous underline against her. Of course, he is not that open on his attack like when he trashes Letizia and her family on his current articles . No doubt out of fear that King Juan Carlos would go after him in person and tell him off, as he deserves,for insulting his wife and one of the most beloved Queens Spain ever had.
Historical inaccuracies apart, Queen Sofia is seen by the Greeks as a separate entity to that of her brother or mother. Even republican Greeks admire the statemanship, wisdom and political acumen that Juan Carlos has demonstrated following Franco's death and the Queen is seen as part of the Spanish success story. If anything, the young princess had a narrow escape from the just anti-royal feeling that has dominated Greece in the last 40 years. Had Konstantine have an ounce of his brother in law's incisive political instict he may still be Greece's Sovereign.
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Old 05-21-2006, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogenes
Historical inaccuracies apart, Queen Sofia is seen by the Greeks as a separate entity to that of her brother or mother. Even republican Greeks admire the statemanship, wisdom and political acumen that Juan Carlos has demonstrated following Franco's death and the Queen is seen as part of the Spanish success story. If anything, the young princess had a narrow escape from the just anti-royal feeling that has dominated Greece in the last 40 years. Had Konstantine have an ounce of his brother in law's incisive political instict he may still be Greece's Sovereign.
I don't know very well the greek modern History of this last fourty years, but it seems you are right in your appreciation about the King Juan Carlos 's brother. Furthermore, the greek poltitical situation of the last fourty years was the very intricate inherit of instability of country since a long time that even a strong poltical man should be a lot of difficulties to resolve it. Sure, Constantine was not the appropriate King, he was too young in too complicate situation. But ( I don't know ) wich real fault had he mad? except his youth ?
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Old 05-21-2006, 03:54 PM
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In my eyes Peñafiel has lost all credibility, nowadays he copies the news from our beloved our-covers-are-badly-photoshopped-jobs German Magazines, that's really low and that's why I don't care about his words, anyway QS is extremely popular in Spain and that's all that matters
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Old 05-21-2006, 04:51 PM
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And speaking of the devil (as in Jaime Penafiel) I was looking for an article on his family tragedy for our english readers but stumbled upon some others that are quite as juicy. Unfortunately they are in Spanish, maybe my fellow Spaniards can help translate the idea on the article, first I translated as good as I could the headline and the sub-headline, below it is the almost word by word original Spanish version:

Tuesday November 29th, 2005
Jaime Penafiel predicts Leonor will never rule because the Monarchy is not going to survive (King) Juan Carlos
The reporter who knows more about the Royal Houses confirms that "when the King dies, probably Spain won't exist as a nation" - "The
Queen has lost a little her role as mother and wife, maybe being married to a Bourbon must be very difficult (for her)"

Martes, 29 de noviembre de 2005
Jaime Peñafiel augura que Leonor nunca llegará a reinar porque la Monarquía no sobrevivirá a Don Juan Carlos
El periodista que más sabe de Casas Reales afirma que «cuando el Rey muera, probablemente España ya no existirá como nación» - «La
Reina ha perdido un poco los papeles como madre y esposa, estar casada con un Borbón debe ser muy difícil»
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Old 05-21-2006, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toledo
And speaking of the devil (as in Jaime Penafiel) I was looking for an article on his family tragedy for our english readers but stumbled upon some others that are quite as juicy. Unfortunately they are in Spanish, maybe my fellow Spaniards can help translate the idea on the article:

Tuesday November 29th, 2005
Jaime Penafiel predicts Leonor will never rule because the Monarchy is not going to survive (King) Juan Carlos

Martes, 29 de noviembre de 2005
Jaime Peñafiel augura que Leonor nunca llegará a reinar porque la Monarquía no sobrevivirá a Don Juan Carlos
I would love to see what would happen to Peñafiel if King Harald or QEII heard about this little tidbit of information
Hint: sue, sue, sue
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Old 05-21-2006, 04:55 PM
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I guess this kind of attack shows that some journalists will never let the facts get in the way of a negative whooly unfounded article. It's really shameful that he would assault Sofia in this manner and I agree if Juan carlos were to meet up with him, it would be a fistfight and HM would easily win!
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Old 05-21-2006, 05:01 PM
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A cobra has less venom that Penafiel's loaded articles. And he is the self proclaimed expert on Royal Houses? Yeah right. Maybe he will predict too that Alaska and Hawaii will separate themselves from the United States, Scotland and Wales from Britain and the Moon is really made out of cheese.
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Old 05-21-2006, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adelaide
I don't know very well the greek modern History of this last fourty years, but it seems you are right in your appreciation about the King Juan Carlos 's brother. Furthermore, the greek poltitical situation of the last fourty years was the very intricate inherit of instability of country since a long time that even a strong poltical man should be a lot of difficulties to resolve it. Sure, Constantine was not the appropriate King, he was too young in too complicate situation. But ( I don't know ) wich real fault had he mad? except his youth ?
One of the mistakes Constantine has himself admitted was that he showed immaturiy in arguing fiercely with PM Papandreou in 1965, which led to a huge political instability that gave the chance for the colonel's coup of 1967, which established a dictatorship in Greece for 7 years and had as a result the abolishment of monarchy. Another one was that he agreed to have his photo taken among with the colonels, which makes many people believe that he supported their coup. He, on the other hand, claims that he asked for the picture to be taken, so everyone could see his sad face, since he had no other means to communicate with the people the colonels had taken over the media.
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Old 05-21-2006, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camila
I dont like PENAFIEL, ALSO WHY HE BLAME queen sofia?
He blames Queen Sofia because he asked her help about his daughter's problem... and she didn't help! Or so he said!
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