In Spain, supporters of the Carlist movement suffered the double blow over the weekend (7 and 8 May) of the death of their leader Prince Xavier of Bourbon-Parma and the banning of their annual rally on the Montejurra mountain in the province of Navarre.
In Spain, supporters of the Carlist movement suffered the double blow over the weekend (7 and 8 May) of the death of their leader Prince Xavier of Bourbon-Parma and the banning of their annual rally on the Montejurra mountain in the province of Navarre. Prince Xavier was 83 and died in exile in Switzerland.
The Secretary General of the Carlist Party, Senor Jose Maria Zabala, told a news conference in Pamplona that the expulsion of Prince Irene was "an utterly brutal and oppressive act". He also said that about 8,000 vehicles had been prevented from reaching Montejurra for the rally, which had been held every year since 1939. It commemorates those who fought and died for the Carlist cause in two unsuccessful civil wars in the 19th century and in the Spanish civil war of 1936-39.
SYNOPSIS: In 1968 Prince Xavier was expelled from Spain by the Franco government for alleged political activities. He is seen here at Orly airport Paris, with his wife Princess Magdalena and one of his daughters, Princess Maria de las Nieves. Greeting his were his son Prince Carlos Hugo and Princess Irene of the Netherlands.
Prince Irene is married to Prince Carlos Hugo and figured prominently in the events of last weekend. While he husband was on his way to Switzerland she attempted to attend the banned Carlist rally. But she was stopped by police at a checkpoint near the town of Pamplona and, despite a 45-minute argument, she was not allowed to go further. Eventually the police accompanied her to the French border with an escort of two cars and a helicopter. Princess Irene's late father-in-law was a pretender to the Spanish throne and was distantly related to the present King, Juan Carlos. His claims, however, have never been recognised by anyone outside the Carlist movement.
About 1,000 Carlists attended a Requiem mass for Prince Xavier on Sunday (8 May). Afterwards their leaders condemned the government for banning the Montejurra rally and failing to legalise the Carlist Party. The rally was banned because of fears of a repetition of violence which occurred at the same event last year. Right-wing followers of Prince Carlos Hugo's younger brother Prince Sixto, shot dead two Carlists and wounded several others. The Party is split between Prince Carlos Hugo's radical line and his brother's extremism.