• Never mind what she said, here’s what she said
Queen Sofia of Spain has reached the ripe old age of 70, had been princess of both Denmark and Greece before that (royal intermarriage and in-breeding, you know) and has routinely been at the top of the heap in public opinion polls in Spain.
However, she apparently hasn’t learned that the key to popularity is not telling people what you think. As a journalist of long standing, I can attest to the fact that frankness is guaranteed to annoy at least half the people who hear or read your expressed thoughts.
In the case of this particular monarch, she gave a series of interviews to journalist Pilar Urbano for the book “The Queen Up Close.” She apparently didn’t clear what she said with the royal household (i.e., hubby King Juan Carlos and his ministers and opinion shapers) even though she and her people had the opportunity to review the book’s text before publication.
A few of her observations that have created consternation among certain slices of Spanish, and indeed non-Spanish, society:
• While she respects people’s different sexual orientations, she does not understand why “they should feel proud to be gay. … That they get up on floats and parade in the streets? If all of us who are not gay were to parade in the streets, we’d halt the traffic in every city.”
• While gay people have a right to unions with one another, they should not call them marriages.
As a result of the public indignation, some real and some play-acting, a spokesman for the royal family said the queen “deeply regrets that the inaccuracy of the comments attributed to her may have caused discomfort or offense.”
Note that there was no retraction of her comments, only finger pointing at the writer. Typical government spin no matter what country is doing it. And typical Spanish macho attitude that tries to keep men in firm control and women behind the scenes. After all, King Juan Carlos is the same guy who was unrepentant after publicly saying to controversial, motor-mouthed Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, “Why don’t you shut up?”