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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Spain's Two Kings

Spain now has two kings

When something works well it's not a bad idea to do it in twos. The Roman Catholic church has two Popes; Hollywood always follows up with a sequel when an idea works well, and in the case of the abdication of King Juan Carlos I, he has stepped aside in ailing health to bring his son, now King Felipe VI to the throne, who is more than ready to take on the responsibilities.

It may seem that I am being facetious in suggesting that Spain has two kings, but King Juan Carlos retains his title and the right to be addressed as Majesty, while his son assumes the same title and right. These titles and rights are maintained simultaneously. Are we confused? No! Why not is answered in the question:What is a king or queen in these modern times.

Simply put, that office is occupied by the figurehead who stands above the fray, and is not involved directly in politics.
King Juan Carlos has been expected to appear in person on ceremonial occasions when he is having great difficulty in even walking. This has been making life for him extremely difficult and has had the country wondering why not  step down in favour of his son, who was evidently ready to serve? Confusion is avoided simply by King Juan Carlos having gone into retirement, where only those close to him will interact with him on a social basis. The retired Pope has shown how that is done, and it works well.

If it is the system of a country to have a monarchy as the central unifying point, then in having Felipe as our king is a wonderful symbol. I think I read somewhere that monarchies in these modern times are useful anachcronisms. That puts it very well indeed. Even in his installation as king, Felipe was Proclaimed, rather than going the route of a coronation. What is the difference?

In a coronation the incumbent is taking up his or her hereditary right without the people having any say as to whether they give their assent, or not.

However, to be Proclaimed king is an exercise under the Constitution whereby lawmakers, who represent the people give our assent for the new king to rule by the consent of the population.

It seems to be a more democratic way of going about it. Also, as a parliamentary exercise it is a lower key affair and does not call for other monarchs and world leaders to be in attendance. In present day economically challenged Spain this was a very politically correct thing to do. So, we have got off on the right foot!

I personally like the new King and Queen. They are really attractive as Head of State and his Consort. I have no doubt that King Felipe  VI will carry out his duties with dash and aplomb, as he was born to do.

Viva El Rey! Viva EspaƱa!

Copyright (c) 2014  Eugene Carmichael