The king of Spain pays tribute to Juníper Serra
King Felipe’s visit to Petra is as detrimental to Spain as his dad’s money counter
Never before had Spain’s royals shown any interest in Juníper Serra, even though every summer they afford us the joy and the privilege of allowing themselves to holiday in Mallorca’s Marivent palace. However, the Mallorcan missionary was recently the subject of an absurd controversy when the woke left targeted his statues and, as a reaction, the Spanish nationalist right responded even more absurdly by singing his praises as an outstanding Spaniard and a champion of Christendom. At present neither position makes much sense, although it’s true that Serra was one of the characters who took the name of the Lord in vain in order to wipe out native Americans in the name of a so-called evangelisation.
Every time that a subject takes centre stage in the public debate, Felipe and his family seem to feel the need to get involved and they always side with the reactionary camp. If Juníper Serra has become, for some reason, the object of worship by the far right, then the king must travel to Petra (Serra’s birthplace in Mallorca) to pay homage to Serra’s memory. The Spanish monarch has been doing that sort of thing since 3 October 2017 (1) and that’s the reason why, everywhere he goes, he is met by demonstrating critics as well as supporters (the far right), with the police playing cicerone so the latter can get a closer look and greet their king.
This is as detrimental to Spain’s institutions and political system as the money counter
of the runaway dad (2). Still, as we saw in Petra, the royal family is not in short supply of support and praise from a significant segment of the public, even in the current circumstances. After all, for decades they have nurtured a fairy tale for adults centred around these characters and now many people aren’t prepared to give it up, even if the farce is blatantly obvious.
(1) In a TV address on 3 October 2017 King Felipe condoned the Spanish police violence against peaceful Catalan voters two days earlier, during Catalonia’s independence referendum.
(2) Former king Juan Carlos fled Spain a few days ago to avoid the backlash of several corruption scandals. A former mistress has stated that the monarch used to keep a money counter at home which he would use to tot up the proceeds of his shady business dealings.