The last communication that Moncloa had, regarding the protocol that would be used during the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II of England, is that they would opt for separate reigning monarchs from non-reigning ones. But government sources do not rule out that the Palacio de la Zarzuela would have had information in the last few hours. It was at the beginning of the talks. Thus, despite the discomfort generated in both institutions by the attendance of Juan Carlos I, confirmed last Monday, Pedro Sanchez and Felipe VI breathed easy because they would not have the photo that they were having such a hard time avoiding. But a last-minute change at Buckingham Palace has brought the four ‘representatives of state’ together. Thus, the photo of Felipe VI with his father was favored two years after the last snapshot and the flight of the emeritus of our country. Something that has not liked anything in Moncloa.
The new seating, which according to Foreign Affairs sources the Government did not know through the Embassy in the United Kingdom -who was in charge of the contact, although everything was in charge of Buckingham-, has left the Government in a state of shock. Yesterday, not even 24 hours before, members of the Executive categorically ruled out in private that this photo was going to be produced. They affirmed, with great certainty, that the United Kingdom would separate them when it came to sitting in the abbey. The same sources do not rule out that the Government’s ignorance of this change is the result of widespread chaos. Until the last minute, for example, the order of the visits to the burning chapel or the people who would attend the funeral in Windsor, where Felipe VI was invited at the last minute, was not confirmed.
In this way, despite the efforts made by both institutions to distance Juan Carlos I from the current monarchs as much as possible, the last-minute protocol change has left them without effect. But with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs considering the communication of barely a week ago to be valid, and without following up on the issue -despite the many failures that have been produced-, the funeral of the cousin of the former head of the Spanish state has allowed to have the most sought after photo in Spain since August 2020. When the emeritus traveled to Spain this summer, Zarzuela prohibited the dissemination of any family photo, neither at lunch nor inside the Casa del Rey.
The place where the British Royal House has finally seated the father of Felipe VI also exposes the government. Well, since last Monday, when he confirmed his intention to accept the emeritus invitation, Moncloa had been repeating that he was attending “a personal invitation”. The British protocol has denied them, since it has considered the former Spanish heads of state members of the Royal Family -which is why they were invited- and consequently institutional representatives of Spain. Although Juan Carlos I had to travel from Abu Dhabi to London on a private plane paid for by a friend in the face of the Government’s refusal to put an Army plane at his disposal, as is customary on trips in which he represents the State.