The Military Easter is celebrated without references to King Juan Carlos I, with his future in the air

To speak of Military Easter is to speak of one of the dates marked in red on the Armed Forces calendar. The Royal Palace It is the setting in which, every January 6, the highest representatives of the military leadership, the President of the Government and the Ministers of Defense and Interior, as well as other civil authorities, gather to accompany the Head of State -also Captain General of the troops- in his speech addressed to all the troops of the Army, Air and Navy. An encounter that for decades has carried the indelible stamp of Juan Carlos I … until his abdication in Felipe VI and his subsequent march to the United Arab Emirates. The emeritus king was absent in every way at the Military Easter this Thursday, both physically and due to the null references to his figure. His future is still up in the air. Will you return to Spain soon, as is your wish? Will you participate in public events if your return is confirmed? Will the Supreme Court Prosecutor’s Office resolve the three investigations into your funds in the coming weeks / months?

2014 and 2015 were unique years when it comes to the tradition of Military Easter. The first date marked the last edition in which Juan Carlos I emerged as the visible head of the Spanish Crown. His speech was blocked and difficult, but the then head of state finished his speech in which he praised the value of the Armed Forces and its commitment to constitutional principles.

It was a date in which he was especially comfortable, maintaining his traditional rotation of uniforms of the Army, the Army of the Air and the Spanish Navy. He received congratulations on his birthday – he was born on January 5, 1938 – and was liked in the later groups that collected the rooms of the Royal Palace, in which uniformed men, politicians and journalists congregated.

But the difficulties in delivering his speech triggered rumors about his state of health and the possibility that Felipe, prince, would take the reins of the monarchy. Something that would happen a few months later, pushed towards an abdication for reasons that, however, were far from all the comments that emerged in the Military Easter. Thus came 2015, with Felipe VI the king, the new captain general of the Armed Forces and Queen Letizia at his side.

Juan Carlos I did not attend the event for which he felt so much personal attachment. His son spoke of him with family and representative admiration, and asked that he be granted “the tribute of gratitude and respect” that “he deserves from everyone.” Pedro Morenés was then Minister of Defense and in his speech requested a budget investment for his portfolio according to the needs of the Armed Forces.

Military Easter is synonymous with tradition, but since then The episodes that marked the uniqueness of each edition followed one another. Catalonia, with the celebration of the referendum on October 1, 2017, politically and socially fractured, shook Easter on January 6, 2018. The Crown showed an image of unity and without fissures, and for the first time Juan Carlos I accompanied his son king in the act of the Royal Palace. His presence at the event, however, corresponded to a tribute to the now emeritus for his eightieth birthday. Felipe VI congratulated his father for his “example, wearing the uniform with honor and always watching over the excellence and commitment of our Armed Forces to our democracy, our freedom and our security.”

Juan Carlos I, in Emirates

New episodes would mark the coming Easter. That of 2019 was the first of Pedro Sánchez at the head of the Government, after the motion of censure on Mariano Rajoy; that of 2020 passed on the eve of the vote in the Congress of Deputies with the unknown whether the “parliamentary arithmetic” would add enough support for the socialist leader to cease to be acting president of the Executive. But, strangely and with mixed sensations, the Military Easter of 2021, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and with a tragic record of deaths and the confinement of the population in the previous months.

The act could have been suspended, but it was decided to go ahead – with the greatest capacity restrictions – to pay tribute to the Armed Forces after a turbulent and difficult year, given its performance in the health crisis. In this context, little was said about the absence of Juan Carlos I, retired in the United Arab Emirates since August 3, 2020, haunted by the controversy that had triggered “certain past events” of his “private life” – terms he used in the public letter of his farewell.

Juan Carlos I reappeared at the Abu Dhabi tennis tournament. // EFE

And so, after several convulsive editions, the Military Easter of 2022 has finally been reached. The clawing of the omicron variant of the coronavirus forced to maintain the capacity limitations in the Palace and the mask was presented, one more year, as an essential garment in the uniforms of the military leadership. The huddles, except for veiled exceptions and always maintaining safety distances, were conspicuous by their absence.

Felipe VI and the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, agreed on several points in their respective speeches: the memory of the ETA victims on the tenth anniversary of the cessation of their terrorist violence, Spain’s commitment to NATO at the summit that Alianza will celebrate this year in Madrid, and the performance of the Armed Forces in the last episodes that have put its response capacity to the test, such as the storm Filomena, the evacuation of Kabul or the Cumbre Vieja volcano.

But this time there were no references to Juan Carlos I, who remains in the United Arab Emirates despite his desire to return to Spain. It had been speculated that at this time he was already in the national territory, spending the Christmas holidays in a more familiar environment. A return that, by all accounts, would be detached from his participation in public events -at least as a member of the Royal House- after the latest judicial investigations that in one way or another refer to his figure.

It was considered key that the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office decided on the three pending cases for the emeritus king to fly to Madrid. But that decision, which was expected by the end of the previous year, has not yet come and Juan Carlos I still remains in Abu Dhabi. His last appearance was at a Rafael Nadal tennis match in the Emirati capital, with whom he shared a tablecloth at a later dinner. The athlete’s positive for coronavirus forced him to undergo a PCR test to rule out a possible infection.

Thus, Juan Carlos I has celebrated his 84th birthday away from Spain in 2022, with the mystery of his return still to be resolved and toasting from a distance on the occasion of the Military Easter, a day that for so long he presided over, celebrated and enjoyed as captain general. of the Armed Forces.

Source: Vozpópuli by

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