Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Juan Carlos: Guilt over death of brother

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It was Holy Thursday, 1956, when then Infante Don Juan Carlos begged his mother to allow he and his brother to play with a gun that their father kept in his office.

It was a tragic mistake as Juan Carlos accidentally shot his younger brother, Infante Don Alfonso, who died as a result of the shooting.

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Juan Carlos' discussion of his brother's death is featured in a documentary of the former King's life, "Yo, Juan Carlos, King of Spain, that was made more than five years ago.  The film, which has already been seen in France, is based on an interview between Juan Carlos and French writer, Laurence Debray.

The film had been banned in Spain, but finally, Juan Carlos has agreed to its release.

Juan Carlos was very fond of Alfonsito, as he affectionately called his younger brother. "We were very close.  I loved him very much ... I still miss him very much."

The death of Alfonsito left Juan Carlos severely depressed that took many years to overcome, as the guilt he felt for causing his brother's death was intense.

As a child he was unable to put down roots.  "I was born in Rome and lived in Switzerland before settling in Portugal, there was no sense of nostalgia at home.  We did have many friends and cousins to play with, we loved each other very much and we were close to our parents,"  King Juan Carlos said.

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Juan Carlos had a "very special relationship" with both his parents,  Juan and Mercedes, the Count and Countess of Barcelona.   His father's death in 1993 was particularly painful.  "It was a really hard moment, he was my most faithful ally.  I buried him as a king, as he deserved it.  He dedicated his entire life to Spain.  He sacrificed himself for the good of the country, that is the greatness of the man and I was lucky he was my father."

He denies the reports that Francisco Franco was a mentor.   He was only ten years old when he moved to Spain for his education.   At ten he was "terrified" but "quite impressed" with the dictator.  He had no choice but to accept the move to Spain, leaving his parents behind in Portugal.

"Franco was not my mentor, it was my father, despite the distance."



Clara said...

Dear Marlene,
This film wasn't "banned" in Spain. It was coproduced by Cinétévé and TVE (Spanish public television) but there was some kind of disagreement. Apparently, the mess was because all the politicians that appeared in the documentary were socialists (PSOE) and the government in 2016 wanted the conservatives (PP) to enjoy their minutes of fame too. Now the socialists are in power and the film is going to be released. Sadly, TVE is not the BBC.

Paige Cummings said...

It does seem like he WAS responsible for his brother's death, so the guilt is quite understandable.

manuel said...

“The film had been banned in Spain, but finally, Juan Carlos has agreed to its release“

Simply fake news, to use a very popular expression nowadays. Instead of Lecturas, much better an reliable information in ABC, for example.
As Clara says, the documentary was never banned in Spain. And King Juan Carlos does not have the power to ban anything on TV. But hte documentary has been available on You Tube, even with Spanish subtitles.
It is old news, but now it is on publications because Point de Vue has published the transcriptions of the interviews used for the documentary.
I have never understood why it was not shown. There is nothing against the King. I saw it in French back in 2015.
Actually, I have found no information that it is going to be shown on TVE. But it could be true.

juan said...

The film wasn't banned in Spain and King Juan Carlos wasn't the reason this film wasn't televised. Politicians must be blamed, King Juan Carlos doesn't ban anything.
Regarding the death of Infante Alfonso, his mother didn't know they were playing with a gun. Infante Alfonso wasn't buried in Spain til 1993, a few months before Count of Barcelona's death. It was a very sad event and if Alfonso wasn't buried before in Spanish soil was maybe because to the Count and Countess of Barcelona the death of their child was something very sad to remenber.