The Board of Congress will answer and resolve this Wednesday all the pending last-minute details of the oath of the Constitution before the Cortes next Tuesday of Princess Leonor de Borbón, one of the most institutional and symbolic acts of this 15th legislature, which has not recently started and happens to have a government in office. The program was completed following a script very similar to the one set 37 years ago for the oath taken by his father, the current King Felipe VI, at that time. The usual members of the acting executive will not attend this solemn session, which will be presided over by the heir to the throne. ERC, Junts, EH Bildu, and BNG have already confirmed that they will not attend the position that is so critical of the monarchy. PNV has not yet officially positioned itself, like Podemos, one of Sumar’s brands, although other sources from the formation have announced that they will be represented. Neither Lehendakari nor the Catalan president will appear that day in Congress against what José Antonio Ardanza and Jordi Pujol did in 1986 with the oath of the former Prince Felipe.
The solemn oath of the Constitution of Leonor de Borbón before the Cortes is given in Article 61 of the constitutional text when the successor of the Head of State reaches the age of majority, an event that happens in this case on October 31. The agenda for that session has been completely designed, with a pattern very similar to the one carried out by his father on January 30, 1986. Next Tuesday, the kings, Felipe VI and Doña Letizia, the Princess of Asturias, and the Infanta Sofia will arrive in San Jerónimo Race at 11 a.m., escorted by the Royal Guard squadron to be formed as an honors battalion, along with four companies from the ground, navy, air, and civil guard armies.
The acting President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and the Chief of the Defense Staff, Teodoro Esteban López, will receive them, and the King will review them from the podium. Next, the president of the Congress, Francina Armengol, and the president of the Senate, Pedro Rollán, will accompany them through the stairs and the lion gate to the lobby of the Congress, where the royal family will greet the president of the Constitutional Court, Cándido Conde-Pumpido, and the vice president of the General Council of the Judiciary, Vicente Guilarte. Already in the hall of the lost steps, the royal family will join the tables of the two chambers and access the dais that has been created these days, where the main gallery of the room is usually located.
The session will begin with the interpretation of the national anthem, a speech by President Armengol, the reading of Article 61 of the Constitution, and the swearing of Princess Leonor in front of all parliamentarians present, theoretically standing. At the end of that session, Armengol and Rollán will present the heir to the medals of the two chambers, and the princess will inaugurate the second edition of the book of honor of the Congress. Then all the members of the Royal House present will share a greeting with the other invited authorities in the room on the missing steps.
Some spokesmen of the political groups currently represented in Congress will not participate in the event because of their critical stance towards the monarchy. Official sources from the ERC, Junts, EH Bildu, and BNG, which are now the key formations for the investiture negotiations of socialist candidate Pedro Sánchez, have already announced that they will not attend the event. Neither the president of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès, who accused this Tuesday, according to his spokesman, that he leads an institution with a “republican” spirit, nor the Lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, who just that day will lead his Governing Council,
The PNV, which belongs to Urkullu, has not yet established a position on whether its spokesperson in Congress, Aitor Esteban, will be in the plenary that day. Unidas Podemos has not been formally formed, but sources from that formation inside Sumar have advanced that whatever they do, their rank-and-file deputies have a “clear republican spirit” and they will be represented by one of their members in the board, their ministers, or some spokespersons.
The ERC wants to emphasize that its spokesman in Congress, Gabriel Rufián, who often makes critical references to his interventions against the Royal House, will not participate in the session under any circumstances because of the Republican group’s understanding that the monarchy is a “”completely anachronistic, corrupt, and opaque institution that is not visible in the elections.” In the Junts, they limited themselves to declaring that their representatives would not appear. It was also announced by EH Bildu that there was no representative from his group in that plenary session: “For the same reason that we did not participate in the round of consultations with the King or in any activity led by the Royal House: because we don’t know each other, the Crown, its legitimacy, or the political role given to it by others.” The BNG explained these same arguments; they recalled that their various spokespersons in the various legislatures never responded in this sense to the King’s calls, and they emphasized that they are “a nationalist organization that defends national sovereignty and the independence of a sovereign, democratic, secular, and republican state,” which interprets the monarchy “as a state structure imposed and inherited from Francoism and, therefore, anachronistic and corrupt.”