It was not yet 9:00 in the morning and the Paseo de la Castellana was already full of flags of Spain, full of people rushing to get a good spot from which to watch the National Day military parade. Mixed in the audience, you could see some members of the Army and the Civil Guard who were going to parade, taking advantage of the previous moments to be with their family and friends, calmly commenting on some details of the ceremony. There were also families who came from outside Madrid to see the parade, and who had gotten up early to be in the front row. “It’s an honor to be here.” The calm, however, soon ended.
The political climate, with the amnesty and the negotiation of Pedro Sánchez with Carles Puigdemont for the investiture in the background, has marked the development of the parade. «Can’t we go any further?» was the most repeated phrase among many of the people who came up from Atocha to the Neptune Square, where this year the tribune of authorities was located, eager to get as close as possible to reprimand Sánchez. “He doesn’t want to listen to what we have to tell him,” said a woman, decked out from head to toe with the Spanish flag. “He is selling us for a handful of votes and he doesn’t want to listen to us,” she added. It was impossible to get closer than 200 meters from any point in Castellana. Around 10:30 in the morning, there was a first whistle directed at the acting President of the Government, even though he had not yet arrived at the parade. “Let Txapote vote for you” and “Puigdemont to prison!” They were the most heard shouts towards Sánchez, who was finally received at 11:00 under a very loud whistle that could be heard on television, which many citizens were paying attention to through their cell phones.
Sánchez’s reception contrasted with that of King Felipe VI, who arrived accompanied by the queen Joy and Princess Leonor, who attended the parade for the first time dressed in a military uniform, once she began her military training last August at the Military Academy of Zaragoza. In an instant, the shouts and boos at Sánchez transformed into cheers and applause. “It is not true that Pedro Sánchez has always been whistled,” commented a citizen who always attends the celebration of the national holiday. “I only missed the year of Covid, and I had never seen this before.” Since he became president, October 12 has been a complex day for Sánchez, who has always been received with shouts and boos from most of the people who come to see the parade.