In northern Spain, supporters of the Carlist movement have held their annual rally. Five thousand?
In northern Spain, supporters of the Carlist movement have held their annual rally. Five thousand people attended.
SYNOPSIS: The rally traditionally involves climbing Mountejurra near Estella in the Navarre district. The trek takes an hour and a half. Those taking part carry the flags of the basque, Andaluzia and Catalonian regions, and sport red berets. They are strong supporters of a section of the royal house of Bourbon.
A priest blessed the followers as they climbed the mountain. The former Carlist leader Prince Xavier of Bourbon-Parma was exiled by the Franco government in 1968 and he died in Switzerland. He was a pretender to the Spanish throne and distantly related to the present King Juan Carlos.
Princes Xavier's successor Prince Carlos Hugo now leads a party which is officially legal in Spain. He returned from exile in 1977 after renouncing all claims to the throne.
The Carlist movement retains a measure of support from sections of Spanish society, and the Princes has become a popular successor to Prince Xavier as leader of the movement.