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Swearing in troubled times

October 30, 2023

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Assumption of the Church |

Full Professor of Constitutional Law of the University of Navarra

The oath of Princess Eleanor is a historical act of social, political and legal scope. The
solemnity of the ceremony is commensurate with its significance. The solemnity of the ceremony is equal to its significance.
of constitutional continuity and without personal misfortunes or unexpected outcomes, we will not witness a similar act in the Cortes
similar act in the Cortes Generales for another generation -some thirty years-.
The passage of time through a family in its generations is the grade characteristic of the monarchy: the continuity of the monarchy.
monarchy: the continuity linked by links that, according to succession rules, are depositaries of the Spanish Crown.
depositaries of the Crown of Spain. The dynastic or lineage principle -except for some brief parentheses
parenthesis - conforms to the rules of succession that already appear in the Partidas of Alfonso X the Wise (Partida II, 15,2,2).
(Partida II, 15,2) -thirteenth century-, today included in the article 57 of the 1978 Constitution and before that in the nineteenth century constitutions of
in the nineteenth century constitutions of Spain. Nature has willed that although the text has not been
the text has not been reformed to suppress the preference of men over women in equality of rights.
Degree -the attempt of 2005 was thwarted, Leonor, without discrimination because of her condition as a woman and following the principle of primogeniture, has been
and following the principle of primogeniture, be the Crown Princess and called to succeed to the Crown of Spain and to the
the Crown of Spain and to occupy the constitutional body of the Head of State, as described in art. 56, "the King the
art. 56, "the King the Head of State, symbol of unity and permanence...".
The oath is an act of continuity that unites past, present and future of Spain,
whose historical existence and national identity can hardly be explained without reference letter to the
Kingdom -one of the oldest surviving kingdoms-. That is why the Crown is a symbol
of constitutional identity, of unity and permanence, and the depositaries of the Crown succeed each other to pass on the
successively to transmit the bequest to the next generation serving Spain in each period of history.
of history. Their oath can be considered a deeper commitment of adherence,
but also of loyalty to a collective project and willingness to a sacrifice staff to
prepare and comply with the rules of the monarchical institution.
Everything will take place before the Cortes Generales in joint session, according to the precedent and custom set for the
custom that was established for the swearing in of Prince Felipe on January 30, 1986. The formula
ad solemnitatem and very personal will be made before those who represent the Spanish people (art. 66 of the Spanish
CE) and together with the King, the Government, the Royal Family and the authorities. Formally it is expressed in a unilateral and public
unilateral and public declaration of will with the closed formula of article 61 of the Constitution, also required in the
Constitution, which is also required in the proclamation of the King or Regent: to faithfully perform his functions, to keep and do his
faithfully carry out his functions, to guard and to make guard the Constitution, the laws and to respect the rights of the citizens and of the Communities of the Communities.
rights of the citizens and of the Autonomous Communities. The formula, a novelty in the
Constitution of 1978, is not technically flawless, but it suffices to underline the commitment of fidelity to the citizens and the Constitution.
fidelity to the citizens and the Constitution. From this moment on, in the event that the King should become
the exercise of his functions, it is up to Leonor to replace Felipe VI.
temporary substitution of Felipe VI.
A brief grade on the context. Felipe's swearing-in in 1986 was during a time of
constitutional illusion, with a high social esteem for democracy, the Constitution and the Crown.
the Crown. It was a Spain that had just joined the European project and with some Autonomous Communities that were beginning their
Autonomous Communities that were beginning their institutional development . Leonor was sworn in at a time
constitutionally very complex times, of political fragmentation, polarization and risk to the unity of Spain and the deterioration of the Spanish
of the unity of Spain and the deterioration of constitutional democracy. The monarchy has also suffered
and the impact of acts that have weighed especially heavily in recent years.
Thus, it can be considered that the three challenges of the parliamentary monarchy concur: the historical ones, since these are national and international times, and the
historical, since these are nationally and internationally convulsive times; the functional ones, which

involve the difficult exercise of reigning without governing, being and influencing the constitutional process
without playing an active role in the political process and prudently using the function of presence and message.
and message and, finally, always the particular challenges of succession and family, because what happens in the Royal Family or in its
Royal Family or in its environment, or the succession fate affects the institution.
The oath of October 31 is an expression of the normal functioning of the rules of the system, of continuity, commitment and openness.
of continuity and commitment and openness to new generations. If the
protocol the previous one will conclude solemnly with the public expression of the three vivas -to Spain, the
Spain, the Constitution and the King, which signify an exclamation of desire that they last and subsist.
and, all this, in very troubled times.