QUEEN SOFIA of Spain was shopping in Mallorca last week with her two daughters when she spotted Montse Lezaun, the mother of one of two policemen killed in a car bomb by Eta, the Basque separatist group, only a few days before.
The two women had met only once, at the policemen’s funeral, but Sofia, looking like any other holidaymaker at the Mediterranean island resort, waved and went up to Lezaun. After chatting for several minutes, they parted with kisses and promised to stay in touch.
Some might call it a public relations exercise but the spectacle of casually dressed royals doing their bit on the front line against Eta is bolstering affection for a monarchy that cannot take public approval for granted.
Pro-monarchy flag swap angers Town Hall
Lisbon Town Hall has initiated legal proceedings against a pro-monarchy group named the ‘Armada 31 Movement’ after the group used a ladder to climb to the town hall’s veranda and replaced the municipal flag with the monarchic flag.
The swap took place under the veil of night, in the early hours of Monday morning and was only detected when the first town hall employees arrived. Meanwhile the municipal flag, which bears the city’s coat of arms, has disappeared.
Armada 31 Movement has already admitted to being responsible for the swap and said it was “much simpler than anyone could imagine”, entailing a handful of people, a three-metre ladder, and “some caution”, due to the amount of policing in the area.
The group described the incident as an “act of ideological guerrilla warfare” that intended to “reinstate monarchic legality”. They also claimed it was the first celebration of the 100th anniversary of the creation of the republic, which will occur on October 5th, 2010.
Lisbon Town Hall has taken measures to verify the circumstances in which the incident occurred and placed a formal complaint with “the appropriate authorities”.
BOWED OVER TO BE BRITISH
By Brian Reade 13/08/2009
A historic moment has just passed us by without sufficient recognition.
Buckingham Palace aides have announced that the Queen's subjects are no longer required to lower their heads and walk backwards until they leave the room.
In other words, bowing and scraping to accidents of birth has been shown the door.
Does this make you feel like you're finally part of a mature, modern democracy? Well, let's put this breakthrough in perspective. Here's when other countries stopped bowing and scraping to unelected heads of state: USA 1776, France 1792, Portugal 1910, China 1912, Russia 1917.
They stopped because their people told them they didn't want to be ruled by a medieval monarchy. We, on the other hand, have been forced by the Health and Safety Executive to stop bowing and scraping in case someone sprains an ankle.
Makes you feel proud.
Be proud that you took so long to follow our bad example, England.