Four minutes of cheers, applause and emotion. This has been the arrival of King Juan Carlos at the Real Club Náutico de Sanxenxo three years after his last regatta. Smiling and very comfortable, to cheers of “Long live the King!” and “Long live Spain!” Juan Carlos I has reappeared at the Club Náutico to attend the Interrías regatta that is being held this weekend in the city that became his refuge after his abdication. Accompanied by the Infanta Elena and in a vehicle driven by Pedro Campos, the King Emeritus arrived at the Club just after 12:30 pm after sharing an early lunch at the Casa de Campos with the mayor of Sanxenxo, Telmo Martín.
At the gates of the Club, fifty people broke into applause and incessant cheers during all the time that Don Juan Carlos has been away from the facilities. With quite a few mobility problems, leaning on a cane and helped by another person, the King has greeted members of the corporation and has taken a photo at the entrance of the club with the Rogue’s crew. Already inside the club, the members have given him an affectionate ovation.
Don Juan Carlos has been very smiling before the press, and although the applause of the curious have prevented him from making statements, he has implied that he is fine. Emotion was sensed in his gesture and at his own request, he has approached some people to shake their hands and blow kisses.
The Infanta Elena, very moved, to the point of tears, left the Club facilities half an hour after arrival with her father. When she left, she said that she was “very happy” and thanked her for her interest.
King Juan Carlos has left the club an hour after arriving. In Pedro Campos’ car he has moved to the breakwater at the end of the port, where the crew of the Rogue was waiting for him. Although the King has spent a few minutes on the deck of the boat, where they have taken a new team photograph, and after assessing it for a few minutes, Don Juan Carlos has finally decided to follow the regatta from the support zodiac, named Cristina. The Emeritus will spend the entire day at sea and will return to port in the mid-afternoon.
According to sources close to the King, during the regatta he does not eat anything on the high seas. That is why on the days he sails he has the habit of having a brunch to gain strength and last until the afternoon without eating. Because the King has fulfilled his wish to embark again after three years without touching the sea.
Winds of between 14 and 20 knots are expected at noon, very good conditions for the competition, but difficult for an 84-year-old with mobility problems.
Juan Carlos I arrived in Spain at seven in the afternoon last Thursday. His eldest daughter, Infanta Elena, and Pedro Campos with his wife were waiting for him at the Vigo airport. From there they moved to the owner’s house. According to sources close to him, Don Juan Carlos was very excited throughout the afternoon. The King, who had spent the hours of the flight with contained impatience, could not help but be moved when upon arriving in Spanish airspace, the controller told him: “Welcome to Spain, Majesty.”
That detail caused the tears of the father of Felipe VI, who from that moment began to experience exciting moments. Like the hug with which he received the Infanta Elena. A long, comforting hug, followed by a respectful bow. Already in the car, the former Monarch told his companions the anecdote of the airspace and became emotional again.
Last night, King Juan Carlos was happy and impatient to return to sea. He had dinner at Pedro Campos’ house and rested from the trip to be in shape today.
Upon arrival at the Club, the King only broke his silence to say two words “it’s not raining”. The Galician Television program Quen anda aí?, which waved a traditional Galician shoe, some wooden clogs, engraved for the occasion with an image of him and another of Queen Sofía, in response to a journalist.
At the insistence of the reporter and the good receptivity of the Emeritus, a security officer from the Royal House came to pick them up and handed them over. Juan Carlos I’s response was immediate and he asked the young journalist to come and see him. Without a microphone, Raquel Pérez had a small meeting with him and reiterated “it’s not raining”, but trying to say it in Galician, “non chove”.
After that small meeting, the young reporter who had the opportunity to speak with the monarch explained that she wanted to “thank me, thank you very much” and to know what the shoes she gave her were used for, usually used for garden work.
These clogs, the work of the Galician artisan Alberto Geada, were commissioned by this program with a mention at the 39-year reign and already last summer, during a visit by Queen Sofía to Galicia, she was given a miniature copy of the same model .
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