Years of Exile and Uncertainty

  • Charles Powell
Part of the St Antony’s Series book series

Abstract

The birth of the future king at Rome’s Anglo-American hospital on 5 January 1938 went virtually unnoticed in Spain, coinciding as it did with the battle of Teruel, one of the cruellest in the civil war. The child was the third born to Don Juan de Borbón and Doña María de las Mercedes de Borbón Orleans, who had married in the Italian capital in 1935 and settled there two years later, after being forced to leave Cannes by the French Popular Front government. Cardinal Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII, christened the boy on 26 January with the names Juan, after his father, Alfonso, in honour of his paternal grandfather, King Alfonso XIII, and Carlos, after his godfather, the Infante Carlos de Borbón-Dos Sicilias. As a child, his family and friends invariably referred to him as Juan or Juanito, and it was not until he became a public figure several decades later that he came to be known as Juan Carlos.1

Keywords

Europe Cage Assure Expense Smoke 

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Notes and Reference

  1. 1.
    It is said to have been José Maria Oríol who decided that he be called Juan Carlos once he arrived in Spain, so as to differentiate him from his own father and ingratiate him with the Carlists (see note 6) Pérez Mateos, Juan Carlos. La infancia desconocida de un Rey, p. 35. His father, however, has attributed the decision to Franco himself. Sainz Rodríguez, Un reinado en la sombra, p. 276.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Some of the king’s supporters would later claim that the absence of a suitable heir undermined his ability to defend the monarchy and stand up to his opponents in 1931. If this was the case, it remains unclear why Alfonso ΧΠΙ did not attempt to make Don Juan his heir in the late 1920s.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Don Alfonso divorced his first wife in 1937, and later married another Cuban, whom he also divorced. He died without issue in 1938 in Miami, Florida, as a result of the injuries incurred in an automobile accident. In 1934 Alfonso XIII’s fourth son, Don Gonzalo, died in Austria in similar circumstances.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    In 1935 Don Jaime married the Italian aristocrat Emmanuela Dampierre, with whom he had two sons: Alfonso, born in 1936, and Gonzalo, born in 1941.Google Scholar
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    Borbón, Mi vida marinera, p. 11.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Carlism, which first emerged in the 1820s as the extreme clerical party, took its name from Don Carlos, brother of King Ferdinand VII, who in 1833 refused to recognise his niece Isabel II as queen. In claiming the right to succeed his brother, Don Carlos denied the validity of Charles Ill’s pragmatic sanction (1776), and appealed instead to the Salic Law introduced into Spain by Philip V (1713). In the nineteenth century the Carlist programme was an amalgam of absolutism and the rural localism enshrined in the fueros (laws) of Navarre, inland Catalonia and the Basque provinces. The political climate of the Second Republic fostered the reunification of the movement into a single Traditionalist Communion (1932), under the octogenarian Don Alfonso Carlos.Google Scholar
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    On Martínez Campos and the Montellano period, see Armada, Al servicio de la Corona, p. 79 ff.Google Scholar
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    Juan Carlos has admitted that ‘ever since I was a small child I’d heard our economic problems discussed at home. Money was a constant worry to us’. Vilallonga, The king, p. 62.Google Scholar
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  45. 45.
    Much to the irritation of the Duke of La Torre, who was obsessed with protocol, most of his cadet friends called him Juan, or Carlos, or simply Sar, after the acronym for Su Alteza Real (His Royal Highness). Vilallonga, The king, pp. 33, 104.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Daily Telegraph, 11 April 1956. Amazingly, the Ministry of Education subsequently authorised a secondary school textbook entitled Catholic Morality which made use of this tragic accident to explore the limits of personal responsibility. Toquero, Franco y Don Juan, p. 384.Google Scholar
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  53. 53.
    The palace derives its name from the bramble bush (zarza). In the seventeenth century it was often the venue for popular light operas, hence the musical genre zarzuela. Badly damaged during the civil war, some of its outer walls still bear bullet holes.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    During these years Fernández-Miranda was director general of secondary education (1955–56), of university education (1956–62), and of social promotion (1962–66). He was also the author of El hombre y la sociedad (Madrid, 1960), widely used by the regime as a politics textbook. Mondéjar’s version is in Fernández-Miranda Lozana, ‘La Reforma Política’, unpublished PhD thesis, Complutense University, Madrid 1994, p. 82.Google Scholar
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    Armada, Al servicio, p. 138. Juan Carlos readily admits that Fernández-Miranda ‘contributed a great deal to my training to be king ... he taught me patience and serenity, and above all he taught me to see things as they are, without illusions and without trusting appearances too much’; Vilallonga, The king, pp. 67–8.Google Scholar
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    Some of his love letters, many of them written in French, were published in lnterviú, 27 January 1988.Google Scholar
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    Frederica, A Measure of Understanding, p. 230.Google Scholar
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    The British ambassador to Spain informed London that ‘I had imagined, as you will appreciate, that the engagement of Don Juan Carlos to Princess Sofía might result in the Royal Question being brought out into the open. In fact, up to the present, nothing of the sort has occurred’. G. Labouchere to E.E. Tomkins, 28 November 1961, FO 371/160786. López Rodo, La larga marcha, p. 193.Google Scholar
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    On taking up office as minister of information in July 1962, Manuel Fraga discovered a ‘Green Book’ containing instructions for the censors dealing with these events. Fraga Iribarne, Memoria breve de una vida pública, p. 37.Google Scholar
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    Shortly after returning to Athens Sofía had her appendix removed. The British ambassador reported that ‘I understand that she was at the time pregnant and the operation caused a good deal of anxiety for this reason, but there has been no official confirmation of her pregnancy’. Murray to Tomkins, 22 November 1962, FO 371/163829.Google Scholar
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    In his letter to Franco of 8 February 1963, Don Juan emphasised the perils of living in Madrid. In his reply of 18 February, Franco observed that Juan Carlos’s visits to Estoril could prove far more harmful than residing in the Spanish capital. Sainz Rodríguez, Un reinado, pp. 409–11; Salgado-Araujo, Mis conversations, pp. 369, 374. Aurelio Vals to the Foreign Minister, 22 February 1963, MAE 7193/50.Google Scholar
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    Labouchere to the Earl of Home, 23 April 1963, FO 371/169512.Google Scholar

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© Charles Powell 1996

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  • Charles Powell

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