Televisión Española Rekindles King Juan Carlos’ “Most Difficult Day”

  February 17, 2009 at 3:36 am by

King Juan Carlos addressing the nation after the coup

Click the image to see the photo and article at the BBC website

It is the event that would probably what many Spaniards attribute as King Juan Carlos’ most outstanding action as a monarch. On the 23rd of February 1981, some 200 members of the Guardia Civil stormed the Congreso de los Diputados and staged a coup while Congress was in the process of electing a new Prime Minister. The coup was a failure however, as King Juan Carlos, dressed in his uniform as commander-in-chief, gave a nationally televised address upholding the Constitution and democracy and denouncing the actions of the soldiers and their leaders.

This act built up Juan Carlos’ legacy as defender of Spanish democracy. Twenty-eight years later, Televisión Española tries to recapture the events leading to this fateful day through its miniseries aptly entitled El día más difícil del Rey. The series, which will soon be broadcasting its final episode, features actors Lluís Homar as the King, Mónica López as Queen Sofí­a, Manel Barceló as Antonio Tejero (one of the leaders of the coup), and is directed by Silvia Quer.

In the TVE page on the miniseries, the channel also offers other video footage of 23-F, interviews with key personalities, and recollections of Spanish citizens as events unfolded on that day.

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One Response to Televisión Española Rekindles King Juan Carlos’ “Most Difficult Day”

  1. ChiaraC says:

    This was indeed one of the not too frequent examples that history has to offer of a brave man in the right time and place, with resolution and clear sight, saving his country from a potential tragedy.
    And not only his country, for that matter. If this coup had been successful it would have had an evil impact on the whole of Europe. I deeply admire the courage as well as the selflessness of this king. He made full use of the power he had – and then stepped back in order to let his people learn to govern themselves. He shows that those who say that a monarchy is always an anachronism and will always keep a country from growing and developing are very shortsighted. This king is a better democrat than many commoners. Thank you for reminding us!

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