Marina Pina: "The monarchy is synonymous with freedom"

Santander, 1988. Editor at LOC and responsible for the information of Casa Real in EL MUNDO, Marina Pina has written ‘Pilar y Margarita. The sisters of King Juan Carlos’ (The Sphere of Books).

How are Pilar and Margarita alike and different from Felipe VI?
I start from the opinion that little can be compared to the character of the King with that of his aunts, due to experiences, training and the future so different that they held: they as Infantas without a clear future and he with an assured reign, although precipitated in time. That said, I think Philip VI is more Greece than Bourbon, so they don’t look much alike. The King is more German in his thoughts and in his way of understanding life, I believe that he has not inherited that capacity to enjoy that another part of the family has.
And regarding Juan Carlos I?
The three brothers are alike in their way of enjoying life despite adversity. They are three people conditioned first by family vicissitudes and then by Spanish politics, since everything they did was subject to Franco’s wishes. They learned not to give importance to what is not important and to take care of each other. Pilar and Don Juan Carlos are more similar, I would say that the most different is Doa Margarita.
Could you explain a little this element ‘enjoy’ the infantas that you point out in the book?
In my opinion, once they have overcome a childhood and youth of family separations, changes of countries and dramas like the death of Alfonsito, they learn to enjoy the most mundane pleasures. The Infantas have had a very good palate, they organized, especially doa Pilar, meetings with friends and family that lasted until late with a good conversation, they also knew how to distinguish a good wine while enjoying in a tavern … all without imposture .
What have you discovered in your research?
First, the sacrifice and unconditional loyalty of two women who served the Crown because they were raised that way. Second, how modern the two Infantas have been, something that can be contrasted with the upbringing of royalty. They began to work and be independent when the counts of Barcelona were satisfied that they knew general culture and lived to be Infantas.
You describe Margarita far from the stereotype that people have of blind people: foul-mouthed, joker … Would you say that it is because of a form of ‘rebellion’ against condescension that causes blindness?
They told me that Don Juan, just married, once told Doa Mara that a Bourbon cries only in his bed. I think that this way of conceiving life with dignity and without falling into self-pity was fortunate for Doa Margarita, because she was educated independently and as one more despite her disability. In fact she makes jokes quite naturally about her lack of vision.
When AC / DC performed in Madrid, Margarita always went to listen to them. Posture or really ‘vibrate’ with ‘heavy metal’?
I posture no, I think he really likes a party, a concert of any kind of music and enjoy. Something nobody knows is that as soon as the perimeter closure was suspended and the borders opened, she went with her friends to her apartment in Estoril. He is always willing to do things.
How do you think her appearance in the ‘Panama Papers’ influenced Pilar’s image?
I do not think that the opinion about the Infanta would change much, since he stopped the scandal with a statement 48 hours later and had not committed any illegality. I know it is true that his direct way of addressing himself, in private and in public, brings him a fame of ‘edge’ that when studying his life contrasts with the enormous generosity he always had with others.
What is it like to make information about Casa Real?
On a day-to-day basis it may seem the same as covering any other information. However, each step taken by the Royal Family has a motive behind it, always looking for Spain to prosper. That is why you have to analyze their movements as a whole, not the daily public events. I have understood your work by covering it and I believe that a part of the Spaniards have an image of the Institution far removed from the reality of their work. They think that they live in palaces and do nothing and it is the opposite: Zarzuela is not Versailles or the Royal Palace and they dedicate their lives to Spain.
How would you describe Felipe VI with a brushstroke?
“The most prepared King” [risas]. It was a joke, Felipe VI is a man who lives for Spain.
And Don Juan Carlos?
Like all people, someone who is a victim of his past.
Doa Sofa?
The great unknown of the family, for good and for bad.
And Doa Letizia?
A woman who sacrificed her freedom to compromise with the monarchy.
Have you found anything about Doa Letizia that most people overlook?
Nobody overlooks him, but his thorough preparation of the topics is real. And I think the Queen is an untapped asset.
Reign Eleanor?
For the good of Spain, I hope he reigns. And they are preparing her for it.
Will the monarchical institution recover from the Don Juan Carlos scandal? Do you think that one day you will return to Spain or that you will die in exile like your grandfather and great-great-grandmother?
Of course, Felipe VI and his advisers do everything possible to distinguish themselves from Don Juan Carlos. If the EREs of Andalusia and the corruption of the Pujol have been forgotten, added to the fact that the King Father at the moment has no cause, I think they will overcome it. As for his return, it is difficult to guess, but it would be a scandal if he died outside and I think he would weigh on Don Felipe.
What about the Bourbons?
That Spain only realizes that it loves them when it expels them. It happened with Alfonso XIII and I think it will happen, or that it already happens, with Don Juan Carlos.
What do you think of the attacks on the Spanish monarchy by members of the current government?
A shame and something unheard of in the rest of the European parliamentary monarchies. If government officials swear or promise the constitution and then attack the main institution in the country, something is wrong. But we Spaniards are anesthetized.
Do you think these attacks have caused an increase in monarchists?
Sure you do. Now the conservative is the revolutionary and to go in favor of the monarchy seems to be fashionable. Ruiz Quintano told Emilia Landaluce in an interview that in a monarchy you can say that you are a Republican, but not the other way around. I believe that the monarchy is synonymous with freedom.

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