Friday, October 24, 2014

Etiquette and Spain's Coronation of the "Little King"

Alfonso XIII., the Boy King of Spain, whose coronation took place on May 17, 1902 ~ "A Royal reception was held in the Throne-room, where the special Ambassadors from the different European and America States offered their congratulations to the new King. He also, for the first time received the homage of his subjects. The procession to and from the Coronation-room, was of a magnificent mediaeval character, recalling the ancient glories of Spain." From The Northern Star (Lismore, NSW)
The coronation of Alfonso XIII, the boy King of Spain, which is been arranged for his birthday, will mark the majority of the youngest monarch in Europe, sixteen being in the ordinances and Royal etiquette of Spain, the prescribed age majeur. Notable as has ever been such pageantry in Spain, the preparations at Madrid suggest that this event will in all probability exceed in splendor many that have gone before it. 
"The wildest enthusiasm was shown by the people along the route and the King was obliged continually to thrust his head and arms out of the window and acknowledge the applause of his subjects. His naturally pale face was flushed, and it was plain that he was deeply touched by these manifestations of loyalty. Regardless of etiquette, which is nowhere so rigid as in the Spanish court, the members of the Cortes, as he entered, sprang to their feet and broke out into cries of "Long live the King!" The cheering continued for fully ten minutes, during which Alfonso stood calm and cool, unmoved by the excitement which swayed everyone else..." from "The Story of the Greatest Nations," by Charles F. Horne
To realize the surroundings, the pomp, the Oriental splendor characteristic of Spain's Royal ceremonial even into ordinary state functions, climate must be taken into account; and it must not be forgotten that in old days Spain's monarchs -- whatever may have been their shortcomings -- garnered into the Peninsula all that was most precious in the kingdom of art throughout Europe.  
The stately etiquette always rigorously enforced at the Court of Madrid has in nothing degenerated during the Regency of Queen Christina whose Austrian birth and proclivities carried out to the letter the established precedent. Within the palace, the finest residence royalty possesses in Europe, suites of apartments are being prepared, where will be lodged the many princes who come to honor the "Little King". 
On May 17, 1902, young Alfonso XIII, having attained his legal royal majority, was crowned King of Spain, taking the oath as sovereign in the Chamber of Deputies at Madrid under circumstances of mediaeval magnificence. He was King from his birth, having been born after his father's death; but his mother had ruled in his name as regent from his birth. He did not assume his royal functions under the most promising conditions, as revolutionary disturbances and labor troubles continued to keep the public mind in a state of ferment and apprehension. In 1906, Alfonso married Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg (Victoria Eugenie Julia Ena) She was a granddaughter of Great Britain's Queen Victoria and the first cousin of King George V of the United Kingdom, Queen Maud of Norway, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia, Queen Marie of Romania, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, Queen Louise of Sweden, and Queen Sophia of Greece. Felipe VI of Spain is her great-grandson. 

From the Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science and Art, Volume 93