Thursday, April 14, 2016

Alfonso quits, Spain declared a republic

April 14, 1931

For more than fifteen centuries, "with only one brief intermission," the Spanish monarchy "stood proudly, reports the New York Times.  Today, the monarchy is finished, as King Alfonso XIII has "yielded his throne," and Spain has been declared a republic.

The new government has been "installed peacefully," and the Republican flag is flying everywhere in Spain.

The King, accompanied by the Duke of Miranda, and two Civil Guards, left the palace tonight, and is said to be "speeding toward Cartagena," where he will board a ship for Marseilles.

This departure was cloaked in secret, and it was "regarded as dangerous" to travel to Portugal because of the "political disturbance" there or to travel through Northern Spain, which is said to be extremely hostile toward the king.

The king has neither abdicated nor renounced his throne.  A proclamation will be released tomorrow which will state that Alfonso has left Spain for the time being to "avoid bloodshed." while the Provisional government "holds elections" to see how Spain wants to be governed.

It seems that the country will move toward the establishment of a republic due to the many republican demonstrations tonight in the country.

Miguel Mora walked into the Minister of the Interior's office and said: "There is no precedent for what I am going to do, so I shall merely say that I am taking control of this office."

The Provisional Government stated that it will rule by decree until the Cortes (parliament) is called.   The Cortes will also have the opportunity to "draw up a new constitution for Spain."  There will be no discussion on "the question of monarchy or republic."

The king's "downfall was sealed with the defection of the Constitutionalists, led by Santiago Alba in Paris, and of the Catalan separatists."   The decision to leave came fast, as this afternoon, the royal family had not made any preparations to leave."  At 1 p.m., several of Queen Victoria Eugenia's friends came to the palace to bring her flowers.

But as the demonstrations grew larger, the King realized that he could not stay, and he left the palace after dark.  Queen Ena and other members of the Royal Family will leave tomorrow for France.

There are several reports that the Spanish royal family will settle in England, as Queen Ena's mother is Princess Beatrice, aunt of King George V.   It is expected that King George and Queen Mary will  extend an invitation for Alfonso to come to Windsor Castle.   He is expected to move into a  home on Belgrave Square, which was a part of the Spanish embassy.  The Marqués de Val, Spain's ambassador to the United Kingdom, closed the embassy today, much grieved by the "loss of the throne."

The house on Belgrave Square is well suited for Alfonso, as it is only a few doors away from the "equally stately home" of Prince and Princess Arthur of Connaught," who have visited the king and queen in Spain.   If Alfonso does decided to live in London, there is no doubt that the Marqués  will offer the house to his "most devoted friend."

It is also possible that Alfonso could "take temporary quarters" at Kensington Palace, where his mother-in-law lives.  Princess Beatrice, who celebrated her 74th birthday today,  is in Torquay, where she is "recovering from a long illness."

 She received a birthday telegram today from Queen Ena, and has been kept informed about the events in Spain.

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