It may have been in November 2007, during the XVII Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government, held in Santiago de Chile, when the image of Juan Carlos I of Spain reached its zenith and began its downward curve. That moment, in which the human overlapped the quasi-divine halo that had surrounded him and, why not say it, protected to date.
And it had to be Venezuela, under the military mandate of Hugo Chávez, who brought to light the most human side of the then King, when after various interruptions during the speech of the then President of the Government, José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero, rebuking the already former president José María Aznar and his position with the United States against the Bolivarian regime. That moment, in which, given the indolence of the socialist leader, who some called a conciliator, when Chávez accused Aznar, and the Spaniards, of “fascists”, and he replied that of: “I will not be the one who is near the Aznar’s ideas, but former President Aznar was elected by the Spanish and I demand… ”, being again interrupted by Chávez, over and over again. Until Juan Carlos I had to be noticed, point to Hugo Chávez and raising his voice, he said: “Why don’t you shut up?” A few words that went around the world. And that they returned it to the target of the international press.
It was not the first time. The real ass in the sun on the deck of the yacht Fortuna was a landmark of the Italian paparazzi in 1995 that went almost unnoticed here. Social networks did not exist and the snapshots of the naked monarch were safely stored. The same would have happened with the trip accompanied by the German princess Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein a Botswana, aired by the German newspaper Bild. Nothing would have transpired in the Spain of 2012, now with Twitter and Facebook in the fray, if one hip break I would not have forced him to undergo surgery. And, of course, if the economic crisis were not at its peak in our country and the attention of the masses had to be distracted. There was another phrase for the story: “I’m very sorry, I was wrong and it will not happen again.”
The rest of the journey was a series of constant physical and emotional falls. And the speed with which the international press lost the little respect it still had for him, fueled by the success of the dirty laundry of the British monarchy, among others. A descent into hell that has not yet concluded, despite being an emeritus and retired from public life.
The courts will have to speak, but in the meantime, the armies of historical disinformation are making a killing by issuing sentences, with no further support than rumors and speculation, about which no one will have to pay bills later. Patience and reflection are conspicuous by their absence in the world of RRSS. And churras tend to be confused with meninas. Or the ass with the temporas.
Dates remain like January 7, 1982, when the then King Juan Carlos I of Spain received the Charlemagne Prize for his “defense of democratic values”. An award granted by the City Council of Aachen (Germany), and which is given to the international personality who has contributed the most “to international understanding and cooperation at the European level” and “for his services to humanity and world peace”. He was the first monarch to receive it since its creation in 1949, but not the first Spanish. Before that, the philosopher and historian Salvador de Madariaga was awarded. And, later, it would fall to the former President of the Government, Felipe González; and the High Representative for the Common Foreign Security Policy of the European Union, Javier Solana. You know, the one known as Mr. Pesc.
An award whose prestige, like that of the monarch, has been declining from the mystique with which the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the Frenchman François Mitterrand or the American Henry Kissinger are still treated. At the least benevolent view of Tony Blair, Bill Clinton or Angela Merkel. It was never easy being a woman in politics.
His services to the homeland are further afield in 1976, when the then King Juan Carlos I signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a text in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter, which promoted the obligation of states to respect universal and effective human rights and freedoms. And whose expression would be included in Article 14 of the Spanish Constitution. Ten years had passed since the pact was put into effect, months since our emeritus king came to power and signed it.
And how can we forget, a year later, when it endorsed the Law for the Political Reform of the regime on which the State had based its mandate for 4 decades, that is, it put in black on white the order by which the so-called Franco regime ended. And his effort because it will only take months for the promised first democratic elections that gave voice to the people, legally recognized political parties, regardless of their ideology.
When Juan Carlos I said that of “I see fulfilled a commitment to which I have always felt obliged as king: the peaceful establishment of democratic coexistence on the basis of respect for the Law”, he made history. Perhaps the transition to democracy did not give the monarch a break, or perhaps he was not a movie fan, but surely it could have been reflected in “The man who would be king” by John Houston. Contemporary epic based on a story by Rudyard Kipling, in which Sean Connery would be a mirror of our Juan Carlos I. There is nothing more human than believing yourself divine, but it can leave you with your ass in the air, even on a yacht.