Marina Pina Madrid


Updated Tuesday, February 27, 2024-23:22

  • Monarchy Juan Carlos I and Felipe VI stage their reconciliation three years after the departure of the Emeritus from Spain

Some of the European royalty gathered yesterday in Windsor to attend the Thanksgiving mass for Constantine of the Hellenes, who died on January 23, 2023 in Athens.

Although the last king of Greece should have been the protagonist of the day, other circumstances monopolized the news.

On the one hand, the striking absence of

William of Wales

, who canceled his attendance at the last minute despite being the deceased's godson and being scheduled to give the second reading of the funeral.

On the other hand, the final image of the day, that of Felipe VI leaving the chapel of San Jorge with his father, King Juan Carlos I, arm in arm.

It is the sixth time that father and son have met since Don Juan Carlos left Spain on August 3, 2020, however, the first time that they have appeared so close on camera.

But although monarchies are sustained by gestures, and this was a priori interpreted as a


of the figure of Don Juan Carlos, Zarzuela sources informed EL MUNDO that the conditions expressed by Juan Carlos I in the letter he sent to Felipe VI are still valid and that nothing has changed compared to then.

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Forced meeting of Felipe VI with Juan Carlos I after his controversial birthday: funeral in London for Constantine of Greece

  • Editorial: MARINA PINA Madrid

Forced meeting of Felipe VI with Juan Carlos I after his controversial birthday: funeral in London for Constantine of Greece

They refer to the letter of March 7, 2022, in which Don Juan Carlos informed Felipe VI that he was taking up residence in Abu Dhabi and throughout six paragraphs he expressed his desire to travel frequently to Spain and a purpose: «

“Organize my personal life

and my place of residence in private areas to continue enjoying the greatest possible


,” he stated.

This apparently simple phrase is the one that has most complicated these years, not the relationship between father and son, but that of the Head of State and the former Monarch.

Don Juan Carlos agreed to spend the night in private places and maintain a low profile.

However, two months later he returned to Spain on his first trip, which enjoyed great expectations in Sanxenxo and ended with the Emeritus meeting with his son in Zarzuela where "they had

a long time of conversation

" in which Don Felipe explained the damage. that his behavior could cause to the Crown.

Don Juan Carlos reflected and then abided by the discreet profile that he assumed in his letter and that Don Felipe asked of him.

They met again at the funeral of Elizabeth II in September 2022 in London and at that of Constantine of Greece in Athens in January 2023. In both, they were

seated on the same bench

but Don Felipe at no time offered to accompany his father towards the exit of the church, doing so supported by the arm of his security assistant.

On January 29, 2020, King Felipe and Queen Letizia presided over the funeral for Infanta DoñaPilar.

Felipe VI's kiss to his father was his last gesture of normality in public.EFE

Don Juan Carlos returned to Spain several times throughout 2023, always discreetly, even at the end of last year he visited

Madrid twice

to meet his son.

The first was on October 31, when he participated in the El Pardo Palace at the party for the coming of age of the Princess of Asturias.

The second, on December 20, at a lunch for the 60th birthday of Infanta Doña Elena.

On neither date was there an opportunity to photograph the father and son together.

They arrived and left separately.

Only at the burial of Constantine of the Hellenes in Tatoi did an indiscreet camera capture the moment in which father and son said goodbye with two kisses.

Just a few seconds of closeness that they had conceived as

part of their privacy,

since they were unaware that there were cameras at that moment.

Today's walk arm in arm responds to the attitude of a son with his father.

A gesture that until now, under the same circumstances, had not happened.

But an approach that is compatible with the conditions of the letter remaining in force.

The King, as Head of State, demands that the person who held that position for 38 years

fulfill the word printed

in a letter.

A vocation for discretion that is not compatible with some behaviors, such as the transfer that Don Juan Carlos made of the photographs of his birthday in Abu Dhabi to the magazine Hello!, in which he could be seen cutting his banner recreated in a cake.

But Don Felipe, as a son, does

seek an understanding with his father


That's why he agreed to hold Doña Elena's birthday lunch in a public place.

That is why this Tuesday, in a gesture of good will, he did what he did not do on other occasions: accompany his father on his arm in an event full of cameras and photographers.

An image that does not seem close to being repeated, although Don Juan Carlos plans to return to Spain on March 12, in just two weeks, complying with what he stated in his letter.