The January issue of GQ magazine in Spain features Felipe de Borbon, crown prince, on the cover, with the title “The XXI Century King.” In a black-and-white portrait, he frowns, with his hand on his jaw, in a gesture of deep reflection — or preoccupation.
Surveys show that a large majority of the people in this country believe the transition to democracy would not have been possible without the King, Felipe’s father, who was the designated successor to dictator Francisco Franco. Now that democracy is consolidated, some Spaniards are questioning the need for a Monarch people never voted for, while others defend the continuity of the King’s role as a symbol of unity.
Pilar Rahola is a journalist and politician who favors government by a republic. “I think it is an outdated institution, an amusement park where the interest is in finding out how to dress or how to act but that it makes no sense these days. To me, it’s something like a Jurassic Park.”
David Gistau, author and journalist, told GQ, “The monarchy will survive as long as it sticks to its institutional script, and the excesses, luxury, hunts, yachts, etc. go unnoticed.”
Fashion designer Robert Verino said, “We have an excellent King that makes our monarchy unquestionable. For three reasons: Moral leadership, capacity for mediation, and extraordinary international prestige. As long as these continue, Monarchy has a long life assured in Spain.”
Philosopher Fernando Savater said, “I would like [...] for don Felipe to be able to run as a candidate in an election held by a republic. I would probably vote for him.”