In the fall of 1985, when there were only a few months left until the Prince Philip turned 18, discreet conversations and negotiations between the senior staff of the King’s Houserepresentatives of the socialist Government that was then presided Felipe Gonzalez and qualified members of the two Houses of Parliament – Congress and Senate – were shaping the solemn act of the swearing-in of the Constitution by the Heir to the Throne, which would occur on January 30, 1986, the same day on which he came of age.
The Congress of Deputies was then presided over by someone as charismatic and with as much weight in the legal and political field as Gregorio Peces-Barba. And he served as head of the House of Juan Carlos I the military Nicolas Cotonerand Cotoner, Marquis of Mondéjar. He didn’t let himself be intimidated by anyone, certainly not by Moncloa, Peces-Barba, who asserted a matter of principle such as that Spain is a parliamentary Monarchy, as enshrined in the Preliminary Title of our Constitution. And therefore the entire prominence of the Prince’s swearing-in act, discounting the Prince himself Don Felipe, It fell to him as president of Congress, bypassing the president of the Government himself, who had to retaliate with a secondary event on that historic day in the Royal Palace. It is the same scheme that will be experienced this coming October 31, on the occasion of the swearing-in of Leonor. But here we want to highlight the tug-of-war that existed in those days between those most responsible for Operettasurely including himself Juan Carlos Iy Fish-Beard Regarding something that may seem minor and yet is of extraordinary importance due to its symbolism, the clothing that he had to wear Don Felipe on the most important day of his life, institutionally speaking, so far.
In the King’s House, which was then completely dominated by the military – much more so than today, no comparison – and with a Head of state who always saw himself – in line with his immediate predecessors – as a soldier-king, it was insisted that the Heir must wear an army dress uniform. But the president of Congress did not deviate from his position and flatly refused, imposing his opinion that the successor to the Corona could not swear allegiance to the Carta Magna before the representatives of national sovereignty if he was not in civilian clothes, like any of them, given that his future status as supreme command of the Armed forces would be subject, obviously, to the fundamental condition of Head of state. So, period in mouth, and everyone wore morning coats on that historic January 31st – the rental houses had a blast in the middle of winter.
That anecdote, which in reality far transcends the anecdotal, comes to mind after what happened this 12-O with the Princess Eleanor regarding the acts of State in which he has participated. As planned, she attended the Military Parade on the occasion of the National Day dressed in the Army’s gala uniform, with the corresponding shoulder identification of a second-year cadet of the Army. General Military Academy of Zaragoza, to which there is no room to put a but. On the other hand, it is much more debatable – an indisputable error of Operetta for the person who signs these lines – that he would not change his clothes and look in civilian clothes for his debut in the endless hand-kissing already in the Orient Palacee, where the Princesaalong with his parents, greeted more than 2,000 guests, representatives of all powers and institutions of the state, but also of Spanish society as a whole. The habit makes the monk, what would I say? Fish-Beard. And, in a democracy like ours, military symbols are very good in their space and it is better that they do not invade others.
It is enough to follow the example of the King. Felipe VI, Instead, he presided over the Parade in downtown Madrid with the uniform of captain general of the Air Force. But, as Head of statein a reception like the one at Royal Palace which aims to commemorate the National holiday and bring the Crown closer to all civil society, the Monarch He put on a suit, which was most appropriate for the circumstance. And the same would have been a wise gesture on the part of the Princess Eleanor.