Friday, May 22nd marks five years since Felipe, Prince of Asturias married former news anchorwoman Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano.
It was the first wedding of a crown prince or king in Spain in nearly century. It was also historic since the bride was a divorced commoner.
But none of the seems to matter anymore, according to recent polls where Spaniards were asked what they thought of their King and the heirs to the Spanish throne.
El Mundo newspaper claims 60 per cent of the people want King Juan Carlos to reign until he dies.
81 per cent of Spaniards believe Crown Prince Felipe is ready to take over as King, while 82 per cent believe his wife, Letizia, is living up to her expectations as Crown Princess. However, only a little more than half believe she is ready to become Queen.
The polls come after recent events have led to some questions about the Spanish monarchy’s future.
Last year, Catalan separatists burned images of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.
The King and Queen were also booed and whistled at a recent football game by separatists.
At the same time, various separatist groups – such as Basque, Galician, and Catalan – set up a website where the regions of Spain were shown as being individual countries.
The Spanish government considers such incidents as isolated, and insist that the monarchy is one of Spain’s strongest institutions.
The Spanish monarchy was restored in 1975 following the death of General Francisco Franco, who had made Spain a fascist state.
It has been a difficult week for Queen Elizabeth II as she watched the British government become ridden of scandal and resignations, during a time of economic troubles.
She reportedly said she was “dismayed” by what was happening.
A former senior Palace official said: “Her Majesty has made clear her displeasure at what she has learnt. She is concerned about the effect that it is having on Parliament’s standing.
“It goes against everything she believes in.”
This all started when it came out that members of Parliament were using public funds for just about everything – pornography and Christmas decorations. This made the Queen concerned that the government – which is under her name – may lose credibility.
Then came the Speaker Michael Martin’s resignation over the scandal. The 83 year old sovereign supposedly discussed this with former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
“Isn’t it extraordinary about the Speaker?” said the Queen, according to the Daily Telegraph.
“This is the first time it’s happened since, I think, 1628.”
Thatcher replied: “Quite extraordinary, but I think it was the right thing to do. The Speaker needs to explain more thoroughly the reasons behind his decision, however.”
Now even more problems for Queen Elizabeth.
Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party, a right-wing group that opposes immigration and wants Britain to withdraw from the European Union, and also once serve time for inciting racial hatred in 1998, has been invited to the annual garden parties at Buckingham Palace this July. He is going by invitation of Richard Barnbrook, an elected BNP member of the London Assembly.
The Assembly is now demanding Barnbook chooses someone else.
“Unless Mr. Barnbrook brings a more acceptable guest along and doesn’t turn it into a political stunt, the invitation will be rescinded,” Assembly Chairman Darren Johnson said, according to CNN.
Even worse, it has been revealed that the Queen has nothing to do with who is invited.
“The Queen does not scrutinize and is not consulted on the list of accompanying guests, as they are official guests and not personal invitations,” said the spokesman, who asked not to be named in line with policy.
“Buckingham Palace relies entirely on the nominating organizations” to compile their guest lists, the palace spokesman added.
As problems mount within the British government, both national and local, Britons are going to look towards Queen Elizabeth to see what she’ll do. Problem is, there is very little she can do, as she has little political power.
The only hope for her is that none of the political troubles the U.K. is experiencing would be taken out on the royal family.
On Tuesday, Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and his wife, Sheikha Mozah, made a stop in Malaysia during their tour of Southeast Asia.
The visit was marked by signing of agreements and talks of mutual concerns.
First, the Emir was welcomed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin at the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur.
He then later met with Prime MinisterMohamed Najib bin Abdul Razak, and the two discussed ways to strengthen ties between the two countries. They also witnessed the signing of trade agreements between Qatar and Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Sheikha Mozah bin Nasser al-Missned met with the prime minister’s wife,
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor. The Emir’s consort wanted to know more about an education program called, “permata negara.”
“Her Highness has given words of encouragement and invited me to visit Qatar to discuss early education for children, especially for those below the age of five, in Qatar.
“She believes that this is one way of ensuring an effective human capital development,” Rosmah told reporters.
The program, which is mooted by Rosmah, stimulates young children’s minds intellectually, and focuses on making the students intellectuals as they grow older.
In addition, Rosmah and Sheikha Mozah discussed ways for Muslim countries to educate the West through Islam.
“We also discuss Islamic fashion where we hope to promote it to the Western market so that the Western people will know more about Muslims,” Rosmah added.
She said Mozah had invited Malaysian fashion designers to Qatar for a fashion show.