Monday 2 June 2014

The Reign In Spain

The news that King Juan Carlos I of Spain has abdicated has not commanded much attention here or in many places.  It is seen as a relatively minor matter against the great hurly burly of the lives of our celebrities and the World Cup. 

His son, King Felipe is to inherit the throne and is of an age to look forward to a number of decades in place.  As King Juan Carlos has been putting his foot in it recently and ageing it makes for a smooth transition in a troubled nation.

To have a King Felipe, or Philip, may cause a twitch in English minds.  We had a lot of trouble with King Philip II some time ago in the 16th Century which historians and television series will not less us forget. He was devout, serious and determined and married our Queen Mary.  But we did not share his views either on earthly or heavenly matters.

Like every other royal family in Europe, inevitably, King Felipe is among the cloud of distant cousins descended from Queen Victoria.  So he will have a claim to the British Throne, although rather down the list, such as it is.  

However, history teaches us that a monarch or potentate with enough ambition, money and the ability to do and apply what is necessary, including force, can overcome these hindrances.  These days, perhaps the promise to safeguard British owned property might be enough to do the trick.

On the other hand there is a spare throne available for King Juan Carlos to retire to if so inclined.  It is a nation that could do with some dignity and common sense at the top.  It is France, a throne at present going begging, especially if the performance reviews of recent Presidents are any guide.

Another throne, again with long connections with the Spanish, is that of Austria.  Others should be discounted, such as the United Provinces, however strong the historical connections are, there could be too many to take on at once.  They might agree to differ.

At least there is no dispute in Spain, at least at present.  In the past we had Wars of Spanish Succession which involved just about all the monarchs and princes of Europe.  The conflicts that may arise will be more to do with the Euro, a serious financial situation and the potential for economic collapse.

In the London Doomsters Club, formerly known as The Drones, Spain is among the countries at the head of the list as being in real trouble and heading for worse.  This is bad news for the UK as Santander is now one of our biggest financial firms.

In Spain, King Alonso XIII did not survive the shake out during The Great Crash of 1929-1931.  He abdicated although during the General Franco regime was treated with a degree of respect.  Eventually, in 1969 Franco designated King Alonso's grandson, Juan Carlos, as Prince of Spain and heir.

What happens next is a number of interesting questions which may be intricate to resolve.  There may be a good deal of confusion and uncertainty.  The consequences may be more in the hands of the financial markets and Brussels.

Given Spanish history, that its destiny might be settled by a group of what amounts to mercenary unelected hirelings in Brussels would be one of the richer ironies of history.

King Juan Carlos also has been the Grand Master of the Order of Calatrava.  Perhaps I will open one of my bottles of Calatrava to toast him a happy retirement.

1 comment:

  1. I hope this doesn't affect the popularity of Bourbon biscuits.