Sophia De Burbon
Date of Birth: 02/11/1938
Live Palace Zarzuela
My mother, with gratitude and affection ..
Known Spanish journalist Pilar Urbano, a man who has written many books about the world`s celebrities, beautiful psychologist, learned over decades of journalistic - literary works "read" all in a man, like an open book - even subtle gestures twitching eyelid or disguised yawn - and It failed and a half years long, frequent and frank conversations unravel the secrets of this woman.
In July 1997, written a bunch of notebooks and notebooks, she left with a sense of Zarzuela Palace and unsolved until the end of absolute secrecy. "What is it? Who is she? What do I know about it ?!" - Asking yourself a journalist, going from the top of the road on the outskirts of Madrid, leading to the residence of the Spanish monarchs. And aware that he could not answer any of them, as in the beginning of his, protracted "interview - visit" to Her Majesty the Queen of Spain, Sofia de Borbon.
Then what can I say about it ?! - Reasonably surprised you by reading the title of this material. Probably will - on the - right. Nothing new. Nothing scandalous. Nothing strange.
Only I will carefully follow the path that has already passed before me, only occasionally stopping and allowing yourself to breathe, to think, to offer you a - the episode before had escaped your attention, or - I flatter myself with the modest hope - do you unknown.
I`ll just talk, insisting not to classify this my admiration and perhaps a bit naive paraphrase someone else`s Destiny masterpieces biographical chronicles and annals. For her life of dignity and hidden charms of Secrets, it deserves to be a little know .. And - recognized? Although it does not need recognition. She - the Queen of Spain, and more than fifty percent of Spaniards often say they are "monarchists only -this queen!"
PRINCESS - Exile.
Greek Princess Sophia, who was born in Athens, November 2, 1938, soon realized what it means - to be a princess. And not just - Princess and Princess -izgnannitsey, which had for a long time to live in a foreign land. Her father, a Greek king Paul (Pablo in Spanish -. -By Latin style) was forced with his family by the Nazis during the occupation of Greece, to leave for the island of Crete.
Greeks bravely resisted the invasion of the Germans, but they were too small army, not overpower the attack from two sides. (Hitler ordered the occupation of Greece by Italy and Yugoslavia and Albania)
Help allies - the British arrived, late, and for the US and almost a little beggar in the industrial and commodities against Greece and is not of particular interest.
And what could be tempting for America to "backward" country with a monarchy, fragments splendor of ancient temples and dilapidated statues? Well, what with the fact that the Greek royal dynasty celebrated for almost a hundred years and it has been linked to blood ties with many of the imperial and royal houses of Europe and Russia!
(* Greek queen Olga of a kind of Russian tsars of the Romanov was the great-grandmother of Princess Sophia for his father, and on both p odstvennym lines Dona Sofia is firmly linked to the ruling in Germany and Austria, the Habsburg dynasty relatives have to Kaiser Wilhelm III and the Austrian Emperor Franz -. Iosifu- author) . Almost all monarchical regimes fell under the heel of Hitler`s boot, or consider the remaining days until the end!
King seemed far beyond the endless ocean somehow completely unnecessary, has long outlived rarity, from which not even want to blow off the dust and. In big politics - a large scale, there are not included poor neighbors - it is known and understood by all.
And the monuments of art and history and hundreds of ruined lives mean so little to the history of Moloch!
In a word, so let Greece how - ever deal with their own problems and solve them without the help of allies. It`s easier.
Little Greece and decides, as it could, putting the heavy yoke of occupation and all the burdens of the war: famine, refugees, bombing. Frederick Queen, mother of the little Sophia, activities and a lot of help to her husband in those difficult for him and the country days, wrote to his mother in Germany:
"Eight million Greeks are fighting against one hundred and eight million Germans and Italians .... We will stay on Greek soil as possible. The king will never surrender captured, even if he will be guaranteed dignified treatment. The king represents the entire nation, and if he believes in win as we believe in it, he should go ... The tragedy of the civilian population of Greece is indescribable. I just came from the hospital. I saw wounded children whose parents were killed during the bombing ... If the situation deteriorates, we will have to leave. Vo first, because neither the king nor the direct heirs of the dynasty should not be captured and because even if we were, it would not have anyone to help:. I realized as I hate Hitler what right did he have to create a new one. world order, which no one wants? For this new order destroy the finest flowering of the city, killed so many people ... "
Who could answer Queen Frederica these questions? .. History? But was this the time to wait for an answer?
On the night of 22 April 23, 1941 on board the British seaplane, the Greek royal family arrives on the island of Crete. Fifteen days they live in a hut filled with bedbugs and mosquitoes. From Crete they moved to Cyprus, then to Alexandria to Cairo, they have no fixed abode.
In summer 1941, King Farouk of Egypt requested the Greek king, his family and relatives, "leave the country" - they simply expelled. In front of the little Sophia, her brother Tino * (* The future emperor of Greece, Constantine I - the author) and her parents five years of wandering and searching for shelter. Here`s how Dona Sofia recalled his return to his homeland, decades later, during a conversation with Pilar Urbano:
"I was too young when we left Greece, so for me this return was a genuine encounter with my homeland. As soon as dawn broke, my brother Constantine began to compete, who first saw the beach. Shining day. All festively dressed. My father Admiral shaped. at the bottom, on the pier, the music. People shout and applaud. Everyone shining faces. I am also overjoyed. " Sophia was eight years old at the time, but not precocious, she knew and felt heart too much. Soon the little heart with joy mingled with bitter sorrow.
"Exile - is a great sorrow, - remembered with pain the queen - because it leaves people without roots, separated from their land, destroying the family but the war is much worse than the consequences of the war in Greece were terrible: from eight million Greeks were killed and four thousand... but continued a guerrilla war continued to sow death. There was no family that has not suffered a loss. People are dying not only in combat, children from poor families thousands died of hunger. The country was in ruins. There were no clothes, no food, no medicine, . nothing My parents traveled all over Greece on bad roads in a military jeep, they travel all over the country, sometimes riding on a mule to get to the village, located in the deep rocky gorges or high in the mountains, where there were no roads to take me with him. that I saw with my own eyes the pain and poverty of the country. "
She saw and memorized. All this has left in her heart tangible wounds, that she was a clumsy, childish, trying to hide inside the soul. Knowing now, with a kind of passion, genuine heartfelt fervor, Dona Sofia has always given the infinite works of charity: the device of hospitals, assistance to terminally ill children throughout the world, especially in the South - the African region, where there are so frequent famines and drought, it seems that she and could not completely forget his wounded lying in the ruins of post-war homeland! Her attitude to the suffering of the world today - a projection of his own childhood.
And the fact that a modern Spain, being on the edge of all kinds of political, national, social conflicts, - the struggle for independence of the Basque extremist - nationalist appeals of the terrorist group ETA has repeatedly commits acts assimilated by the law to a particularly violent crimes - bombings, assassinations of political figures, kidnapping, arson - all - did not embroiled in a civil war, political divisions, confusion and vacillation, threatening the unity of the nation and the state, there is considerable merit not only the monarch is king Juan - Carlos I, but its true "shadow" - invariable companion of life - the Reina Sofia. It is beyond doubt. Too alive for her is still a bitter memory of torn half of Greece that could not choose the way: whether to become a republic, whether to remain a monarchy. King was loved by the people and popular, but his side did not have power and strength, and over -populyarnoy idea of ??uniting the nation, alas!
school years. JUST SOFIA.
As she grew up? How is this reserved woman with a gentle smile remembers about his childhood? Who were her mentors? Getting started its difficult as it is for every individual, the way to yourself? She does not like to talk only about themselves, but still hear her slow, lively story, interspersed with folk catchwords and instant smile illuminates her face, like a flash of bright sunlight. Incidentally, the "people" buzzwords, it is not something that our accustomed, Russian ear. Spanish consists of many different tongues and dialects - each with its own "vocabulary". So, the queen perfectly knows all the dialects, dialect, "accents" of Spanish. Can read Latinized historical manuscripts times of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, knows the Catalan folk songs, dances Seville. Her speech is alive and warm. It has no "court fossils." This is even evident in television reports and interviews.
In Sofia, in her personality, a lot of work put her teacher, Arvanitopulos Theophany, a senior lecturer in the humanities:. The history, geography, art, philosophy, archeology, Greek ... "She was stunning - it says Sofia - Always carried away his work, was able to awaken in students a love for archeology and history. it is revealed to us in Greece wealth and learn to enjoy her beauty, love her. her studies, she turns into a holiday. I loved her very much. "
"After returning from exile - says the Queen, - I spoke in English and in Greek, but since I was a Greek woman and the daughter of the Crown Prince, had to hold Greek perfectly logical, though I learned three Greek language: everyday,.? street vernacular and classical Greek, Attic, literary, that is the language with perfect grammar. "
First in April 1946 the official status of Sofia, as the representative of the royal family has changed. She became the daughter of the king of Greece, and after his brother Constantine could qualify for the Greek throne in the future. He died of her uncle, King George and power passed into the hands of her father. The Queen says: "The sad news of the death of the king we have received from my mother, I remember it well She gathered us three children, and said,." The hour of Uncle George. When the king dies, he was replaced by his successor arrives. In this case the heir is a dad. "
So the first time I was faced with death. Four days later the funeral took place. I well remember the funeral cortege. First came the soldiers with guns, muzzles lowered down on the way back, after the funeral, the barrel has been raised up. The motorcade consisted of the Royal Guard. Behind the coffin - my father - he led by the hand of a new crown prince, my brother Constantine. "
Sofia almost ceased to see the parents. The father spent much time in the office, or traveling through the country. When he was ill, he replaced his wife, Queen Frederika, it is often in areas that are dangerous to life. So the line of fire * (in Greece often clashes Communist and monarchist groups -. Author) she crossed the mule. Why she had to be there among the soldiers? To instill in them good spirits. She believed that her mission - to be where the bad, where people suffer. She tried to explain that the strength of the country after the devastating war is only in unity. But: People do not listen. They did not want to listen.
"My father was a staunch Democrat - says Dona Sofia in an interview with Pilar Urbano - but, nevertheless, in the Greek monarchy and democracy were incompatible notions of the Greeks did not fit in my head (this is now the case), that the monarchy could be. democratic and constitutional and as I see that mistrust in many parts of Europe, it is sometimes asked myself. maybe the democratic monarchy - it is really exclusive invention of my husband, Juan Carlos, Spain "?
On the very same Sofia and her children`s world, change its "position in society" is not affected in any way. Just with her began to ask even stricter. Here is what she says about this: "It`s on me unimpressed continued normal life Greece was a poor country, we did not suit the big holidays, did not live in luxury in the evenings going to a family in my father`s room there in handy..... chairs next to the fireplace, dinner as a family, listened to music, talked about many things ...
I had little contact with people living longer in the world of fantasy. We did not go to the movies and television, we did not. We had to invent themselves games and entertainment. Like all children, we spent much time in the kitchen, because our chef Blazy told us stories about the Greeks and the Turks. With him and the maid Mary we say in Greek, and the nurse Sheila - in English. My children are also bilingual, from early childhood, they say in English and Spanish. "
In the autumn of 1951, when Sofia was thirteen years old, her parents enrolled school in the German town of Salem. It was an elite, prestigious school .. It was founded by a German diplomat and educator Kurt Hahn under the patronage of Maecenas, Margrave Max von Baden, a school principal was Prince George of Hanover, brother of Queen Frederica. The school was located in the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg.
Sofia was very upset when she learned that she has to leave home and family. Her frightened to be among strangers, so far from Greece, and hear only the German language, which she knew very mediocre. But her mother felt that her daughter is time to stop holding on to his mother`s skirt, it is necessary to acquire a European education and learn to overcome shyness, language difficulties and disciplinary rigor.
"I went to Salem as a sheep to the slaughter Marienburgsky castle brought me in horror: it was a dull, dark, everywhere there were suits of armor, hung huge portraits, high ceilings and very steep stairs Real Middle Ages..!
The school has not done any social differences there with all treated equally - the Queen said. - The most important thing was - your efforts. You only evaluated by their actions. No one was interested in who your parents are. During these four years, I was just Sophia of Greece, one among many. "
boarding regime was severe: winter and summer rise at 6.15 am. Three minutes - to fill the bed. Then he quickly dressed and went down into the yard and walking in pairs. All was school uniform: a gray skirt, white blouse, blue sweater. After a walk - a cold shower. In those days there was no hot water. At breakfast - oatmeal on water. Milk, as well as meat or sweets, in post-war Germany was a great luxury.
In eight starts lessons. Theoretical subjects alternated with practical exercises. Each of us could itself choose additional lessons: we were taught to sew, weave carpets ... I chose the photo and drawing ... It was my first time in the life of an independent decision, my first free choice. It seems to be a trifle, but I made the choice for the first time, not thinking about my status and not thinking about what others will say.
Students themselves washed dishes, served on the table, cleaned the dining room, cleaned potatoes ... It was a mutual responsibility system, government, and we, the students, had to live in a group.
When evening came, every one of us gave himself a kind of examination, reporting to a day. We kept diaries. Our diaries are evidence of how we grew up. I remember how to write, I was late to kakoe-nibud event, let you imagine carelessness, not whether the varnish when it is not necessary, brushing teeth after eating there, how much exercise done on a horse in the gym, on the Swedish side, how many hours sat in the evening over textbooks ... Entries were to be truthful. We ourselves were the judges. It was a code of honor.
I have very good memories of Salem. Life there was a strict, harsh discipline, the climate is very heavy, cold, rainy, but it was my first experience of freedom, partnership, forming personal values. I`ve been involved in sports. But there is always preferred to play on the team, did not like to single events. "
Sofia sang in the choir. She participated in school plays. With passion he plays small, insignificant roles. She liked the life in a boarding school, there the atmosphere is fun tea parties, late, after midnight, conversations with friends, drawing lessons, Christmas parties, sports games and competitions on field hockey. She likes to think of Salem, back to childhood. "There I would like a meeting with myself!" - She says -
"I finally found out herself and learned to respect others I discovered friendship and the ability to have his own I do it gently, never tell anyone declaring war in Greece I did not have the freedom to choose:.... What I had to I do not have to dispute there was no place for protest I am well aware of my princess long known that I -... daughter of the king and had to do his duty, like it or not, and Salem, gloomy, austere boarding school, was for me.. an oasis of freedom. I was there a Greek blond girl named Sophia. "
Princess. Way to itself and the crown.
But in the early summer of 1956 "Sofia simply" decided to leave Salem and return to Greece. The decision she took herself, after much thought and hesitation. It is this decision was old enough, his motive was serious. It was a decision: Princess!
Sofia was seriously feel that it loses touch with the homeland, beginning to forget the Greek language. For nasledntsy traditions and the crown as she thought then, it was simply unacceptable! She returned to Tata - Greek royal residence in Athens.
"I was 16 years old - I recalled Dona Sofia in an interview with Pilar Urbano - I remember was traveling by car from the station We then traveled a lot on public transport. Train, cableway, tour boat ... I leaned out of the car window to. breathe and taste of this with nothing comparable to the smell of fields: mixing aromas of rosemary, mint, cumin ... and wheat, oats, they, too, smell and pines, cypresses, chestnuts, eucalyptus smells ... I say a lot ... .
We lived in a royal residence with Tata since it was restored in 1949. In the palace in Athens, we are more often at public events. Holy Week are held there. Attend all the church services, often very tedious. "- Says Sofia.
Outwardly, life went on as usual. Princess matured. In the early 1960s, her family has taken a great trip on the yacht of the Greek businessman Euhenidesa "Agamemnon", surrounded by members of the royal families of Europe. All of them came on board at the invitation of Queen Frederica, who decided to turn a picnic - entertainment in useful diplomatic appointment. In all ports where yacht moored behind her hunting journalists to interview the crowned heads. They were there because, on board, more than a hundred!
It was on a cruise and held the first meeting with the Greek princess fifteen Spanish Count of Barcelona - a title worn while Juan Carlos. Here`s how remembers about herself Sofia, explaining why, among all the guests, she drew attention on the Count of Barcelona: "He was very cute, funny, a little too direct, many joked He was older than I was just a few months, but his parents are allowed to have fun. late at night, and plenty he danced, had fun while I was at exactly twelve were sent to bed. But between Juan Carlos and me there was absolutely nothing. he never even invited me to dance.
Before you meet with Juanito, Prince Juan Carlos, I fell in love, was fond of many times the typical enthusiasm of youth, why not admit it? I liked some of the young people in Salem. Like the other girls, falling in love with movie stars. Actually, I was a romantic person. But I did not have these novels, I had no suitors. Juan Carlos - the first and only ".
After returning from a cruise, Sofia plunged into a life full of different things: techniques and travel, training with his beloved teacher Theophany Arvanitopulos, archaeological excavations. In November 1956, he enters the nursing school, where he studied child psychology. Two years later he received the diploma and works as a nurse until 1961. In 1959, Sophia and her sister Irina in collaboration with his teacher Theophany published a small book "Ceramics Dhekelia", then in addition to another job "Archaeological mosaic" was published, where they reported on a variety of new archaeological finds.
Very fond of music. The lessons she gave Gina Bahauer. The house has often been Yehudi Menuhin. Gina and he were old friends of parents Dona Sofia. "I would like, - he said the queen, - to devote himself to history, archeology, or music, or perhaps to some practical case related to the children."
In 1959, Sofia and Constantine carried away sailing. Every day, in spite of the cold and heat, in the rain showers, they got up at dawn and went to the pier Phaleron Bay. There was a small yacht anchored "Nereus", which Greek sailors gave the Crown Prince on the day of his age.
"At first we did not think about the Olympics. We just trained. But we did not give rest to desire someone to compete, put in front of any purpose for which would be worth trying.
When we announced to parents that want to participate in the Olympic competition, the government worried. "Greek Prince can not risk losing if he would participate, he must win." Gold "Bronze -. It is a defeat."
We trained in France and in Italy, - continues the story Queen. - One day in February 1960, when we went to Genoa, there was an accident. It was very cold. The yacht was under full sail. Suddenly, the ship turned sharply, and I hit my head about the leeward side. He lost his balance and fell into the sea. The water was icy, and I began to sink, warm clothes and heavy shoes pulled down. Constantine and the officer that was with us, rushed into the water and pulled me out.
Shortly before leaving for the Olympics, in May 1960, I said to my brother: "Tino, I think about it and get out of the game I am afraid that with me again, something happens, and even during the race, I imagine. forgive, if you lose my fault I did not like to win others - he adds a queen with a smile - but also play I do not like It`s better to win against itself, overcoming their shortcomings!
Games were held in Naples from 29 August to 7 September. Let`s go with the whole family. We were attracted the attention of the press and television around the world, because Tino was the only Crown Prince participated in the competition. On the first day of the competition, he came tenth. And we`re all depressed in the evening. The next day he was already third. On the third day - the second. And the last and decisive day our "Nereus" came first! My parents were hugging, crying and laughing. I was elated. It was a triumph. it was very important for Greece. Do not ever forget our return to Athens. People were standing on the bridge in five rows, from the airport to the monument to the Unknown Soldier, in the city center. All the streets were crowded with people of Athens. Universal surge of national pride. It was the first gold medal we won at the Olympics since the First World War.
Heart, caught on the fly. beginning of the novel.
But back to Naples. That night in the hotel where we stayed, all celebrating the victory. Counts of Barcelona attended the games and were invited for dinner on our ship "Polemistis".
Came Don Juan and Dona Maria, Juan Carlos came. He has changed a lot, grown a mustache. I told him: "You do not like me with these awful mustache." - "I Do not like me ... But how can that be?" - "You do not know how I know Come with me?". ... I took him to the bathroom on the ship, forced to sit in front of a mirror. Draped a towel over his shoulders, as is done in the hairdressers, I took razor, lifted the tip of the nose and shaved off his mustache. ... He did not protest. "
Ten months after this curious episode Sofia and Juan Carlos met again, this time in London, Edward`s wedding, the Duke of Kent.
Invited to the wedding were placed in the hotel "Claridge". Sofia, curious, like all women, she asked guest book to see who of your friends staying in the same hotel. Leaning on the front desk, she read the guest list. "I know almost all, but suddenly read:." The Duke Heronsky "and asked." And this is who is the Duke Heronsky "And I heard behind me:" This is me. "
Whose voice? I turned around. It was he".
"On the day of arrival, we went together to the cinema: Tino, Juan Carlos I, in the same taxi Viewed." Exodus "with Paul Newman then returned to the hotel, changed clothes, and together again went to the hotel." Savoy ": there was a reception and gala dinner. we sat down at a table. It was then that we felt like we suddenly felt drawn to each other, but no serious talks have not yet been.
All the days that followed Juan Carlos and I were together. My brother Constantine realized that something was going on between us. In a conversation with my parents on the phone, he told them: "Get ready for a surprise Juanito, the young Count of Barcelona, ??a single step does not depart from Sofia, and she seems to like it.".
But we are not left alone. All the time was with friends. One evening they all went to the restaurant (it was already in London), there was a dance hall and orchestra, a dance floor next to the table. But we do not want to dance. We talked. Yes, we had a serious conversation about many things - about his life, about me, about philosophy, religion ... It was then that I began to understand that he is a man much deeper than it seemed. And at first it seemed to me somewhat frivolous merry and rather superficial young man.
He was charming. I saw in front of a man who lives a difficult life, not knowing what awaits him in the future. He was constantly escorted, but he is always alone, separated from his father and family. He lives in the country with the military regime, which destroyed the monarchy and where his father, the rightful heir to the throne, no entry. And I suddenly felt that I admire them.
Only at the end, he asked me to dance. It was a slow foxtrot. I remember we were dancing slowly, in silence.
And then everything happened very quickly. This happened in June. That summer our family went to Scotland, where I, along with his brother participated in the competition for the Gold Cup sailors. And there received a postcard from him ... What a surprise! Although, in truth, I was waiting for her every day. It was written in Any English: "Dear Sophie, I think a lot of you as we were good at the wedding when we see again what you are now doing all the time remember you kiss hug love Very Juan Carlos.??...." .
I told him to e Estoril, Portugal, where his parents lived - as indicated in the received card me. And then he told the parents: "Why do not we invite those family summer Juanito us in Corfu .. I like it?". Parents reacted with understanding, though skeptical. Juan Carlos seemed to them a man completely from a different world, and besides, even - Catholic. I think they foresaw very great difficulties associated with the fact that I was an Orthodox and a Catholic he ".
It was not a marriage of convenience. "We married for love only for love -. Recalls Dona Sofia - I was very much in love Happy and this despite the fact that the summer when we sailed together on a yacht, we often quarreled Juan Carlos liked to command and.!. often angry, I did not have room for error, it should have been with him to be, and the ropes, and at the helm, every move had to be clear, precise, it was necessary to do everything as he planned, and just at the right moment, not a second . later if I`m wrong, he went into a rage and shouted at me as a sailor I`m terribly sulked, angry, did not talk to him then already angry and so he always left alone, I was thinking.... "If, in spite of these arguments, we get married, it means that we have already developed a certain immunity and we can go through all the tests. "
It was an ordinary marriage, the love between two people who loved each other, loved and understood each other. He was not going to use my status as Crown Princess. It was clear that I must soon take its status. While we were the bride and groom, we talked a lot, telling each other about their lives. However, we are talking more about the past than about the future, so it was very uncertain. Yes, he was the heir to the Spanish throne. But it does not make sense to plan for such a distant and quite uncertain prospect for us. By law, the throne was to take his father. And in fact father and son deprived of the right to Franco. I have not been in the clouds, feet on the ground and knew very well that made no sense to imagine how over time, a few years later, my husband will be king ... "
In mid-September, the Greek king and queen were to open the Greek pavilion naMezhdunarodnoy exhibition in Lausanne. They came accompanied by Princesses Sophia and Irene. Don Juan de Borbon and his wife and son, "accidentally" picked the same day to visit Queen Victoria Eugenia in her home in Lausanne. And just "accidentally" Prince Juan Carlos before it went into a jewelry store to pick up a woman`s ring, which ordered a few weeks ago, leaving gold, two rubies and diamonds from the buttons to the full dresses father.
"Juan Carlos asked for my hand, it was in a hotel, a very original way he suddenly shouted to me." Sophie, catch "- and tossed a small box - Queen mimics the gesture and almost makes me see how in her hand gets a box!. deftly thrown from the opposite corner of the room -. Inside was a ring Oh, of course it was an explanation, although words such as "Do you want to marry me," I have never heard. ".
On the same day, September 13th, 1961, it was officially announced their engagement. Don Juan telephoned Franco. But Generalissimo is sailing and learned the news from the radio message. "Our wedding - explains Dona Sofia - was a purely family affair and we did not need to consult with Franco.".
If the marriage of Juan Carlos with the Greek princess was not seen as a family matter, and as a matter of state, would have to formally consult with the Cortes (Parliament) in accordance with the Act of Succession, which was then operated in Spain. And in such a case it would require recognition of the Franco and Don Juan of the fact that Prince Juan Carlos is considered a "possible heir." Neither general Franco nor the Count of Barcelona did not want to reveal the card. Franco, of course, knew all about it.
The most difficult thing was overcoming the religious problems. Hierarchs of the Greek Church did not agree to transition Sofia to Catholicism before the wedding. Only giving up their rights to the Greek throne and married in the Orthodox rite, she could accept Catholicism.
Catholics also insisted that the betrothal took place in the Catholic rite.
And Don Juan and Juan Carlos sent to Rome, where they were received by Pope John XXIII. They speak with the Pope and a half hours, ask that the Vatican has taken a more flexible approach based on the intransigence of the Archbishop of Athens Chrysostomos. Pope John XXIII, who was distinguished by tolerance and broadmindedness in religious matters, takes care of this problem. It soothes of the Bourbons, assuring them that the formalities and preserved the essence of the Catholic rite be precisely followed.
"My mother wanted the wedding to be refined and luxurious. The style of the old European courts.
On the night of May 14, 1962, I woke up several times and got up very early. I wanted to keep in mind the whole day. I knew that everything would be very nice that will be heard the volleys from Mount Lycabettus, in all the churches will ring bells at the same time ... But I wanted to live and experience every moment of the day, the day of my wedding. It often happens that you are in a fog, you see everything as if in a dream, and then tell you that it really is.