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Old 10-28-2008, 03:35 PM
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"Queen Sofia Up Close" by Pilar Urbano (2008)

Queen Sofia's biographer Pilar Urbano was interviewed for her new book on Queen Sofia.
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:00 AM
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Queen Sofia's biographer Pilar Urbano was interviewed for her new book on Queen Sofia.
XLSemanal revista online de actualidad
Wasn't Pilar Urbano the one who brought up the story in the beginning that Felipe blackmailed his parents and said it's either Letizia or nothing? I recall that she was forced to make a turn-around on the issue later on in order to keep the trust of Queen Sofia, what is now allowing her to provide the Queen's sugary side of the story. It might be a privilege but doesn't qualify Pilar Urbano as more or less reliable than other sources or journalists.

Furthermore, it's a joke to call both Isabel Sartorius or Eva Sannum "flirts" of Felipe. In Felipe's position you are not with a "flirt" for 4 years, provide private holiday pics to the papers and even take the "flirt" to the wedding of a fellow CP as dinner partner, compromising the Queen. No, she wasn't a flirt and Queen Sofia was far from showing the much praised tolerance in this case, accepting the choice of her son in the first place. Fighting off Letizia only proved one time too often and as a consequence Sofia has to live with a divorced and plebejan successor as consort, something she never wanted to see in Spain. But because in the beginning no girl was ever good or worthy enough to marry her son Felipe, the Spanish heir, the whole thing finally backfired for Sofia.

The only thing Queen Sofia has in mind and always had in mind is the survival of the institution and she has always been willing to pay any price to succeed - including the state of her own marriage and bringing a daughter-in-law into line who would never have been her choice in the first place, but even the greatest Mama's Boy of all thought it was enough at the age of 36 to please the impossible expectations of his mother. The true professional the Queen is, she swallowed the pill and still gives her utmost support to her ultimate objective, a future King Philip VI of Spain. From that perspective of course the interview makes most sense - Queen Sofia's only intention is to make everything sound as smooth and harmonious as possible - not only for a nice legacy but also to give a boost to the CP couple - and Pilar Urbano only does the fetch & carry.
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Old 10-29-2008, 12:35 PM
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Wasn't Pilar Urbano the one who brought up the story in the beginning that Felipe blackmailed his parents and said it's either Letizia or nothing? I recall that she was forced to make a turn-around on the issue later on in order to keep the trust of Queen Sofia, what is now allowing her to provide the Queen's sugary side of the story. It might be a privilege but doesn't qualify Pilar Urbano as more or less reliable than other sources or journalists.
I think you are confused an interview with a hearsay. This time Pilar Urbano was doing an interview exactly the same way as the time when she wrote Sofia's first biography. Whether you like the contents or not, it was an interview.

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Furthermore, it's a joke to call both Isabel Sartorius or Eva Sannum "flirts" of Felipe. In Felipe's position you are not with a "flirt" for 4 years, provide private holiday pics to the papers and even take the "flirt" to the wedding of a fellow CP as dinner partner, compromising the Queen. No, she wasn't a flirt and Queen Sofia was far from showing the much praised tolerance in this case, accepting the choice of her son in the first place. Fighting off Letizia only proved one time too often and as a consequence Sofia has to live with a divorced and plebejan successor as consort, something she never wanted to see in Spain. But because in the beginning no girl was ever good or worthy enough to marry her son Felipe, the Spanish heir, the whole thing finally backfired for Sofia.
Strictly they were not 'flirts' in the sense of dating, but Sofia might think any relation without a serious marriage talk a 'flirt' since she was still into 'formal marriage meetings' (she was said to set up various marriage meetings for her son). Isabel Sartorius was more than 15 years ago when both were very young and Felipe hadn't finished his studies. His relation with Eva Sannum might last long, it had always been a long-distance relation only seeing each other in long weekends or holidays. She was definitely considered 'a flirt' by just about everyone before Haakon's engagement to MM. Hola's private holiday pictures in India was her 'introduction' to the Spanish public by his camp, a very stupid 'introduction' though. Eva was never Felipe's dinner partner at the wedding of Haakon and MM like Tatiana was Nikolaos' at the Danish wedding, and only joined Felipe after the formal dinner was over and people could freely stood whereever they wanted, she was invited by the Norweigian couple as their 'friend'.

I don't think it's fair to say that Sofia never considered any woman good enough for her son just because she didn't like a 'clueless' foreign underwear model. Isabel actually said in her Hola interview Sofia was nice to her (to the contrary of what some tabloids said), herself was the one who didn't want to hanging in there (to be laughed like 'Waity Katie') and wanted more freedom in her life . In Sofia's previous interviews in 80s, she had always said that the title was not necessary, she wanted her children to marry educated people, share the same culture background so that they could understand each other better. It was more of the Spanish press who seemed to think nobody was good enough unless she was a daughter of a King, perhaps they just liked whinning, needed something to write about, that's their nature. I still remember a few old complains on the royal girls linked to Felipe, ex. Tatjana of Liechtenstein looked like a farm girl, she had no style, Waldburg (Countess Carolina of Waldburg was Felipe's old flame) was too small, Felipe's wife at least had to be someone like Martha Louise of Norway (hey, that was pretty high standard considering so few daughters of the Kings out there in the market) and etc.
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Old 10-30-2008, 07:03 AM
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On the occasion of her 70th Birthday Queen Sofia commented to Pilar Urbano on various - controversial - issues like

Attacks on the monarchy (burning the photographs of the Kings in Catalonia, satirical cartoons)
Homosexuality, Abortion (Yes), Euthanasia (No - because life and death in not in our hands) - contradictory
Political issues (Ceuta / Melilla and the relations with Zapatero or Aznar - the latter doesn't get the best remarks)

I don't want to comment on the Queen's opinions because we live in a free society but I don't find it a clever move of the wife of the Head of State to allow such frank thoughts to be published.

Isn't monarchy about preserving neutrality instead of causing controversy by such statements, especially when it gets into politics or ethics? I wonder why Sofia felt the need to "lift the curtain", doing a Prince Charles. Royals are there to represent and Sofia is not even the monarch - she should be quiet and let the elected government do the talking.

Explosivas confesiones de Doña Sofía por su 70 cumpleaños - ESD
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Duke of Marmalade View Post
Wasn't Pilar Urbano the one who brought up the story in the beginning that Felipe blackmailed his parents and said it's either Letizia or nothing? I recall that she was forced to make a turn-around on the issue later on in order to keep the trust of Queen Sofia, what is now allowing her to provide the Queen's sugary side of the story. It might be a privilege but doesn't qualify Pilar Urbano as more or less reliable than other sources or journalists.
Nope, it wasn't Pilar Urbano. It was from a book entitled "Tu seras mi reina" by Angela Portero.
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:01 PM
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regarding the interview with pilar urbano and her book with ocassion of the queen's birthday: i'm translating this 'summary' by spanish newspaper el mundo on her comments. it also mentions that the queen knows and approves everything published.

'Letizia ha sacado a la Reina a la calle' | elmundo.es

- on letizia: mentions that letizia got the queen closer to the 'streets', meaning to the people and 'everyday activities'. it mentions that her and letizia visit restaurants and shops together.

- on religion (from the video): she mentions that all kids should be taught religion in school at least until a certain age because they need a referent to explain life and the world.

- on adolfo suarez (ex president of spain, now suffering alzheimer): during their recent visit, the queen felt the need to show him her love and told him that he looked handsome. he address her with a 'you are beautiful!' after.

- on obama: mentions how surprised she is on the improvements in america and their development to let someone black in the white house and says she doesn't tolerate racism.

- on succession: she says the king will not abdicate.

- on elena and jaime: she mentions the press is inventing things.

- on homosexuality, abortion and euthanasia: against all of them. mentions that homosexual marriage should not be called marriage.

her favourite present would be a ban to take her grandchildren around.

not very wise in my opinion to state her opinions on certain things so openly.
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:14 PM
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Thank you carlota - in the meantime I found some articles in english.

From what I read the Queen is pro abortion (it is legal in Spain), not against it (as euthanasia or gay marriages)

Spain's Queen Sofia opposes gay marriage in new bio - Summary : Europe World

Spanish queen breaks silence - and upsets gay groups - Europe, World - The Independent

Queen of Spain speaks out against gay marriage - from Pink News - all the latest gay news from the gay community - Pink News

Again, everyone is entitled to their opinion but very unwise to do such controversial statements. Her comments about gays - "those people" - are plain rude and discriminating.

¿Sofia, por qué no te callas?
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:37 PM
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Duke, your reading is erroneous. The Queen is in opposition to the abortion and the euthanasia. The abortion is legal in Spain only in certain conditions, is not legally free (only in case of danger for the life of the mother, malformations or violations).

The Queen is not in opposition to the homosexual ones either, is not in opposition to the fact that they join legally, but she does not think that it is properly a marriage.
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Old 10-30-2008, 05:37 PM
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Duke, your reading is erroneous. The Queen is in opposition to the abortion and the euthanasia. The abortion is legal in Spain only in certain conditions, is not legally free (only in case of danger for the life of the mother, malformations or violations).

The Queen is not in opposition to the homosexual ones either, is not in opposition to the fact that they join legally, but she does not think that it is properly a marriage.
lula I was quoting the article I attached earlier:
Explosivas confesiones de Doña Sofía por su 70 cumpleaños - ESD

It says "¿Está a favor del aborto?" - "En absoluto" - this does not sound to me like opposition.

However I did not post to discuss the content of the Queen's opinion on specific issues. As everyone she is entitled to think what she likes. My point is the fact that she voices her opinion on controversial issues openly which is not appropriate for her position. Monarchies are there to unify all members of society, not to split up or single out.
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Old 10-30-2008, 05:49 PM
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Duke, you haven´t understood the expression, it is used with a negative sense.

The Queen appears in opposition to the euthanasia and the abortion in Pilar Urbano's book
La Reina se muestra en contra de la eutanasia y del aborto en el libro de Pilar Urbano 'La reina de cerca' - 30/10/08 - EcoDiario.es
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Old 10-30-2008, 05:50 PM
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i think her views on abortion are no for most of the cases. at least that was el mundo's remark. i doubt they would make such a mistake.

LAST MINUTE NEWS

Quote:
the royal house sent a communicate saying that 'the queen thinks the remarks in the book are inaccurate'

La Reina tacha de 'inexactas' sus polémicas palabras publicadas en un libro | elmundo.es
i'm sorry, but i'll stand with pilar urbano on this one. the book was apparently sent to the royal house and received their approval. it's easy to pronounce such statements and refute them when there is upheaval. they are now claiming those were 'private conversations' and reasons why 'the queen couldn't have said that' such as her involvement with minorities and those who are discriminated and her humanitarian involvement (which doesn't have anything to do with euthanasia, abortion or homosexuality).

besides, if they were private conversations, why letting someone write a book about them? in my opinion that statement demonstrates that what is mentioned has some degree of truth.
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Old 10-31-2008, 05:16 AM
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Queen Sofia Up Close by Pilar Urbano

On the occasion of Queen Sofia's 70th Birthday Pilar Urbano has published a book based on private interviews she had with the Queen.

Spanish queen breaks silence - and upsets gay groups - Europe, World - The Independent

The content is quite controversial - the Queen gives her opinion on questions of politics or ethics - and has already caused a lot of uproar, obviously too much for the Royal House releasing a statement yesterday on behalf of the Queen saying she made the comments in a private forum. It said she "profoundly" regretted the lack of precision in the words attributed to her and the "ill-feeling and upset" they may have caused.

Spain's Queen Sofia: Pilar Urbano's New Book Causes Controversy Due To Comments About Gay Marriage | World News | Sky News

Maybe spanish members of this forum will read the book and like to give their opinion / comments in this thread.
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Old 10-31-2008, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Duke of Marmalade View Post
On the occasion of Queen Sofia's 70th Birthday Pilar Urbano has published a book based on private interviews she had with the Queen.

Spanish queen breaks silence - and upsets gay groups - Europe, World - The Independent

The content is quite controversial - the Queen gives her opinion on questions of politics or ethics - and has already caused a lot of uproar, obviously too much for the Royal House releasing a statement yesterday on behalf of the Queen saying she made the comments in a private forum. It said she "profoundly" regretted the lack of precision in the words attributed to her and the "ill-feeling and upset" they may have caused.

Spain's Queen Sofia: Pilar Urbano's New Book Causes Controversy Due To Comments About Gay Marriage | World News | Sky News

Maybe spanish members of this forum will read the book and like to give their opinion / comments in this thread.
Yesterday I read an article on Spiegel online about this book Spanien: Warum Königin Sofía keine Schwulenparaden mag - SPIEGEL ONLINE - Nachrichten - Panorama .

The Queen definitly has some interesting opinions, if the report is true and correct. But I cannot see anything she needs to be sorry about, nothing libelous or abusive.
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Old 10-31-2008, 05:27 AM
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She is sorry for making people feel upset but obviously stands by her comments, so..
The Queen is entitled to her views of course, and they can even be called surprisingly progressive for a conservative rich woman of 69, but she should not have expressed them in public. I think that the British and Belgian monarch are the wisest in these things: never give an interview, never.

--
Out of curiosity, how is the parlamentairy responsibility arranged in Spain? I mean, the government is responsible for the RF in a constitutional monarchy, so considering the queens views are against government policy and homophobic I can imagine that some politicians will try to get some press-time in asking questions about it in parlament. I do believe they are a bit more relaxed in Spain about the monarchy though, if this would have happened in my country all hell would break loose in parlament.

Edit:

I found my awnser to that at royalblog:

Quote:
Political parties on the left and the republican parties tried to ignore the queen’s comments, saying they are no more relevant than those of any other Spaniard
Read more here.
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Old 10-31-2008, 06:23 AM
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i posted my comments on the communicate in the other thread when mentioning they released a statement. if these were private conversations, why letting them write a book at all? it's obvious that her majesty knew quite well what the conversations were for. besides, the book was sent for aproval to the royal palace. why complaining now, after all the preventive measures seemed to have been approved? it seems a bit hypocritical to me.

{deleted off-topic comments about social issues - Elspeth}
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Old 10-31-2008, 06:31 AM
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According to the author the Queen even told her that her husband had extramarital affairs and such. Way too much info IMO.

Very curious how somebody who is usually considered the perfect queen could make such a gaffe. They usually say that the Spanish queen is respected but not loved, I guess this interview will not change much of the unloved-part but she will be less respected by many, that is for sure. One tactless blabbering old Bourbon-princess was enough for me, so I hope the queen won't turn into a more upgraded version of Emanuela de Dampierre in the years to come though she is certainly trying... Anyway, I think these remarks will have an effect on HM's reputation in the long term. She was already considered cold, but upto now that was cold and very capable and intelligent. Well, now she will be known for being anti-abortion, anti-gay etc. as well as a cold woman. The fools at the court who thought it would be ok to publish this thing should be fired immidiately IMHO and the republicans in Spain can certainly toast to queen Sofia, may she speak out more often !

-
BTW the author is a member of Opus Dei, so she might have her own agenda in emphasizing the Queens conservative views. The denial by the court is just idiotic, they actually read the book before it was published, send it back to the author and did not make any comments/adaptions etc. Instead they approved of what was written. Added to that the author denies that she only had one conversation with the queen, according to Pilar U. she has spoken often with the queen for a period of two months!

{response to off-topic comments deleted - Elspeth}
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Old 10-31-2008, 06:58 AM
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The book was sent for aproval to the royal palace. why complaining now, after all the preventive measures seemed to have been approved? it seems a bit hypocritical to me.
It is impossible that the book with its content went out without the approval of the Royal House. It seems to be a case of misjudgement of public reaction as it happens so often these days. If Queen Sofia was a celebrity I'd say it was done deliberately to push the book and make money with controversial statements. But Queen Sofia isn't a celebrity, she is Queen consort to the spanish King, Head of State and obliged to keep neutrality. In the Queen's case the misjudgement is harmful and the way of handling the damage is poor, as usual with Zarzuela: trying to take people for fools, it was a private conversation, never supposed to made public etc etc. It doesn't take rocket science to figure out that some of the statements will cause uproar as they are offensive to parts of society (in this case gays) or be met with disapproval (political issues - it's cheap style to comment on the features of the PM / former PM).

I have always been a fan of Queen Sofia because of her perfect attitude towards her role, one of the "old school" as Queen Elizabeth II, keeping the mysterium of monarchy alive and never lowering themselves to publicly discuss everyday issues like politicians or celebrities do - it's simply not their job and I wonder what came over her to allow this to happen. Sadly this will harm Sofia's legacy as one of the last "perfect" Queens, at least for me.
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Old 10-31-2008, 07:28 AM
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I have always been a fan of Queen Sofia because of her perfect attitude towards her role, one of the "old school" as Queen Elizabeth II, keeping the mysterium of monarchy alive and never lowering themselves to publicly discuss everyday issues like politicians or celebrities do - it's simply not their job and I wonder what came over her to allow this to happen. Sadly this will harm Sofia's legacy as one of the last "perfect" Queens, at least for me.
i agree, she always seemed very diplomatic and, despite some minor defects, i was fond of her. i just realised this was not the case. it was a bit of a dissappointment.
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:21 AM
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Duke, you haven´t understood the expression, it is used with a negative sense.

The Queen appears in opposition to the euthanasia and the abortion in Pilar Urbano's book
La Reina se muestra en contra de la eutanasia y del aborto en el libro de Pilar Urbano 'La reina de cerca' - 30/10/08 - EcoDiario.es
You are right lula I have read in a different source where it wasn't taken out of context. Queen Sofia is basically in line with what the church says on the topic (a general no but there are exceptions).
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:54 AM
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Nope, it wasn't Pilar Urbano. It was from a book entitled "Tu seras mi reina" by Angela Portero.
MonarquÃ*a Confidencial

I don't know who came up with the story first but Pilar Urbano was among those who claimed in the beginning that Felipe blackmailed his parents and threatened to resign as heir if he wasn't allowed to marry Letizia. It's mentioned at the end of the article, in Spanish though. I recall that Urbano later made a U-turn and insisted that Felipe would never have reacted in such a way, a clever move preserving her chance to write this book about Sofia.
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