SPAIN’S Princess Leonor, who is the heir to the Spanish throne, will swear allegiance to the Constitution in the Congress of Deputies on Tuesday, October 31. She will do so following in the footsteps of her father, King Felipe VI, but in a very different context to his ceremony back in 1986.
The biggest absence at the ceremony will be her grandfather, the self-styled emeritus king Juan Carlos I. The disgraced former monarch, who abdicated in 2014, has been living in exile in the United Arab Emirates since 2020 after a series of allegations of financial wrongdoing surfaced.
Since then, Felipe has been trying to keep a distance between his father and the current royal family. Juan Carlos’s estranged wife, Queen Sofía, will also not be present at the event.
Don Juan, the father of Juan Carlos, was present at Felipe’s swearing-in ceremony back in 1986.
Juan Carlos has, however, been invited to a private family celebration to mark the swearing-in as well as Leonor’s 18th birthday.
The politicians in attendance at the ceremony will also differ greatly from Felipe’s ceremony back in 1986. Back then, according to Europa Press, deputies and senators who were socialist, conservative, centrist and nationalist – including pro-Catalan independence groups – were all there to applaud the future king.
But this time around, only lawmakers from the conservative Popular Party (PP), Socialist Party (PSOE) and far-right Vox will be present, with representatives from Basque and Catalan nationalist parties opting not to attend due to their anti-monarchy stance.
What’s more, high-profile politicians from the new leftist Sumar party have also announced that they will not be attending.
These include the leader of the Podemos party and caretaker social rights minister, Ione Belarra, and the caretaker equality minister, Irene Montero, also from Podemos.
A representative from the party, Maria Teresa Perez, told reporters this week that they would not be going to the swearing-in because they see the event as a way to ‘shield’ the monarchy as an institution.
Meanwhile, Alberto Garzon, the leader of Spain’s communist party, United Left, which also forms part of Sumar, has stated that he will not attend. For his part, he said that he did not want to contribute to an ‘act of glorification of the monarchic values’.
The caretaker deputy prime minister, Yolanda Diaz of Sumar, will be in attendance. She is widely expected to repeat that role should the acting prime minister, Pedro Sanchez of the Socialist Party, manage to form a coalition government with Sumar at an upcoming investiture debate.