THE ANCIEN REGIME 3
Life in 21st Century Spain (though you wouldn't know it)
3) Autobiography of King Juan Carlos
Hi everyone, JC here... Juan Carlos de Borbón, that is, King of
Though I don’t speak English, (and to be quite honest I have a little bit of trouble expressing myself in Spanish), my good friend Mr Murphy has promised to listen to my reminiscences and translate them into colloquial English. We’re going to look at some episodes in my life, starting with:
Now I’m going to start something called a Transition – it’s like a change to democracy, but nothing that happened in the Franco time will be held against us. Everyone’s on board, even an old Red called Santiago Carrillo who I pretended to make friends with. This politics stuff is easy – just promise one thing, do another, and try to make friends everywhere you go.
When I got back to Madrid I had a nice chat with that Soraya Saénz de Santamaría, Rajoy's right-hand-girl. She told me not to worry, the Spanish government had all the weapons at their disposal to deal with snotty upstarts like Mas. Nice girl, Soraya. You know it kind of gets me thinking that everything's come full circle. My moment of glory, the consolidation of democracy, was when I faced up to the 23-F coup plotters in 1981. Funnily enough, Soraya's father the General was there, running the police. Now we have his daughter, nice lady, who knows exactly what is needed for democracy. Reassuring, that. Safe pair of hands.
I slept soundly for the first time in months. The hip twinge let up, my mind was at rest. Mas and his smarmy little face receded into the mists. Even bloody Iñaki couldn't disturb me.
King Juan Carlos general background
Paul Preston, Juan Carlos: Steering Spain from Dictatorship to Democracy (New York: W.W. Norton, 2004)
Death of Alfonso 1956
23-F 1981 attempted coup
23-F – Did JC sympathise with coup plotters?
Soraya's father in 23-F
Queen Sofia forced to snub Queen