Queen Sofia: Europe's Lonely Queen
|Queen Sofia of Spain, Europe's lonely queen consort|
In the May 20 article of The Daily Guardian, Queen Sofia of Spain has been labeled as Europe’s loneliest “Europe’s lonely queen consort.”
I can tell.
From the recent scandals that rocked the House of Bourbon to reports of his husband’s infidelity, Queen Sofia, who was born into the Greek Royal Family, could only wish to escape these heartbreaking events and enjoy the company of his relatives in England. But that never happened. Forty-eight hours before her flight to London, the powers-that-be in the government, angry over Britain’s stubbornness to return the much-disputed rock of Gibraltar, cancelled her trip on her behalf. This left Queen Sofia lonelier than ever.
“She was really looking forward to it,” said Pilar Eyre, whose book The Loneliness of the Queen has been top of the best seller list in Spain since it was published in January. “It was a huge blow for her to be stopped from attending.”
On May 19, Spanish newspaper El Mundo featured a huge picture of the 27 royals, with the headline: “The only absence was Cousin Sofia.”
The newspaper also pointed out that protocol would have probably seen Queen Sofia seated next to Queen Elizabeth, owing to their close family ties.
“It was to be a real treat for her to see her family, get dressed up and also relax with friends who live similar lifestyles,” said Eyre.
“But now she has to return to her role of supporting the King in silence, and just keep her head down. She is suffering a huge amount.”
However, even Queen Sofia’s marriage is in under fire and reports that the king and she have been living apart for many years already. Eyre also notes that the reserved but elegant grandmother has few real friends in Spain. Inside the Zarzuela Palace, there is an existing rift between between the King's "team" and the Queen's ladies in waiting.
Queen Sofia, a sister of Greece’s exiled King Constantine and cousin of Prince Philip, is in aspect opposite to King Juan Carlos. She is a vegetarian who disdains bullfighting and rarely speaks in public because of her heavily-accented Spanish. The king meanwhile is known for his straight talking personality and his passion for fast cars, sailing and skiing.
“It was a marriage of convenience,” says Eyre. “They have been living separate lives for a long time.
“But it is fair to say that, in a long and unhappy history, this is a particularly painful moment.”