A right royal clash

ON THE MARCH: Albert Rivera and Ines Arrimadas.

THE Spanish press was beside itself with vicarious pleasure when Spain’s latest queen Letizia, prevented her mother-in-law, queen emeritus Sofia, from being photographed with her granddaughters. 

A clash between daughter-in-law and mother-in-law? Or commoner and queen? Most women will be familiar with scenes like these and – interestingly – the elder of the two infantas, Leonor, disengaged readily and brusquely from granny.

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The Zarzuela Palace damage-limitation merchants immediately swung into action with photos of both queens beaming at each other and doubtless all future domestics will take place in private.

With a career as a news presenter and a previous marriage behind her, Letizia is not universally popular in Spain. Paradoxically, even those with republican leanings believe that a queen should be the result of years of inbreeding with cousins while oozing majesty and protocol.

But the coup de grace for Letizia came from Andrew Morton, royal biographer supreme, in his latest analysis of Prince Harry’s future wife Meghan Markle. Far from comparing Markle with Princess Diana, he likened her to Letizia.

Both are divorced, ambitious, centred, with a lot of determination and strong opinions, he pronounced.

All of which is true, but not what Letizia needs to hear right now.


Twice as good

THE Ciudadanos (Cs) party led by Albert Rivera nationwide and by Ines Arrimadas in Cataluña would win the next general election on its present showing, according to the latest Metroscopia poll.

The Cs would have 28.7 per cent of the vote, compared with the Partido Popular’s 20.4 per cent.

The PSOE dropped slightly and surprise! surprise! the Unidos Podemos party led by Pablo Iglesias is catching up with the socialists. Whether purposely or fortuitously, Iglesias has boxed clever by allowing himself to be overshadowed by current events.

And the announcement that his partner Irene Montero is expecting twins won’t have done him any harm. 


Degrees of silliness 

CRISTINA CIFUENTES, regional president of the Madrid Community, was regarded as a possible contender for Mariano Rajoy’s crown when he eventually surrenders it.

So there was more than a touch of schadenfreude in some Partido Popular quarters when Cifuentes found herself in a pickle over a Master’s degree in Autonomous Law that might or might not have been deservedly awarded.

She has stuck to her guns and clung to her Master’s diploma even though all the evidence points to academic jiggery-pokery. It is disputable whether possessing said degree would have made her a better politician or regional president, not when she has highly-paid advisers to deal with legal issues, autonomous or not.  

Cifuentes would have done better to tell the truth or make a lame excuse. The jaded voting public expect politicians to lie, but are unforgiving when they catch them at it.


Practically inaudible 

CARLES PUIGDEMONT is at large in Germany although Spain is still determined to haul him back to face the music, this time for misappropriation of public funds.

Meanwhile, Cataluña’s former regional president laps up all the attention and flits from press conference to press conference in Berlin.  

At one of these, he insisted that he has always said that independence ‘wasn’t the only answer’ for Cataluña.

He might have muttered this at some point in the past but if he did it must have been in a very low voice that very few managed to hear.


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