Home Celebrities Jaime Peñafiel: “Felipe VI has behaved very badly with King Juan Carlos”

Jaime Peñafiel: “Felipe VI has behaved very badly with King Juan Carlos”


In two weeks Jaime Penafiel will be 90 years old. “I haven’t missed a single day of work in 70 years of business,” she says proudly over the phone. Your secret? “A very healthy lifestyle. I only eat one meal every 24 hours, I walk seven kilometers every day and I sleep little,” she explains. And continue writing, in the newspaper ‘El Mundo’, the magazine ‘Pronto’ and the blog ‘Reino de Corozones’. He is so fit that she just released a new book, ‘Loud and clear’ (Grijalbo), with the suggestive ‘the secrets I’ve never told’ on the flap. “This will be the last one,” he warns. “I don’t know if I’ll have time for some memories.”

Peñafiel, who before being a royal chronicler was correspondent in vietnam, was one of the first to hug Juan Carlos when “the boy” was born to him, and the only journalist who covered birthdays in Zarzuela. The promotion has coincided with the controversial return of the emeritus. “I am not a monarchist, I was a ‘juancarlista’!”, he exclaims every two times three during the talk about his book. In it, among thousands of anecdotes, she also explains that the enormous interest in Juan Carlos’s money comes from a long time. In 1966, when ‘Hello!’ signed Peñafiel as chief editor – a position he held until 1984 – the then prince called him to the office. “I wanted to know the number of my signing. ‘Do you know what I earn, what Franco gives me every month? Only 70,000 pesetas for everything: food, dresses, trips, outings, the princess’s hairdresser…”.

-Did you expect this media spectacle with the return of Juan Carlos to Spain?

-People do not forget that he has been a magnificent king. The ‘show’ has been a consequence of how badly his son did it by throwing his father out of his house and the country, without taking into account the presumption of innocence.

– Do you think that the emeritus should have given explanations and apologized to the Spaniards?

-You already apologized after Botswana, when you said “I’m very sorry, it won’t happen again”. That was the origin of everything. They humiliated him, they were miserable for forcing him to say that. The same ones who later organized the abdication. Why humiliate him more, when he has already regularized his economic and criminal situation with the Spanish justice system?

-You defend in the book that the exile was “an unconstitutional outrage” and that someone should pay for it.

-Philip VI has behaved very badly with Juan Carlos. He is a poor man in the hands of Pedro Sánchez, who forced him to throw out his father. What Sánchez wants is to destroy the institution to be the head of state. But article 19 of the Constitution says that no citizen of the country can be kicked out.

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-Have you had occasion to speak with the emeritus in this time?

-Do not. I am not a friend of the king. Those who claim to be are not doing you any favors. I am no longer a ‘juancarlista’ because he is no longer the head of state, but I am a loyal person, not a courtesan, and he distinguished me with something that has been the most important thing in my career. On the same day, November 22, 1975, when he was named King of Spain, I spent the morning alone in his office in Zarzuela.

“The day Felipe kicked out his father, Sofía was shopping at El Corte Inglés”

-Your son has just opened the door for you to settle in Spain.

-It is that you can return when it comes out of your nose.

-Felipe is not the only one who does not come out well in the book. Of Sofia he says that she is a “national cuckold”, a “difficult boss”…

-What are you waiting for to get divorced once and for all? The day Felipe kicked her father out, she was shopping at El Corte Inglés. It is true that her marriage was not for love, but during the two years of exile she has not had a single call, nor has she gone to see him. And now, the day Juan Carlos returns, she leaves for Miami. But she in sin she carried penance, because she has come with covid.

-But there was a time when you admired her, and you even dedicated the book ‘God save the queen’ to her.

-When I found out that Isabel, my only daughter, was a drug addict, I asked her for an audience, to let off steam, as therapy. She chaired the foundation on drugs. But she didn’t answer me, and she passed the letter to the King. He behaved fantastically with me, he called me when he saw the obituary on ‘ABC’.

Do you think that the latest scandals in the family endanger the institution? Will Leonor reign?

I don’t know what will happen when I’m not alive. I can’t imagine it.

-How do you see the future of the monarchies of Europe, particularly the British?

-Isabel II has such prestige that all the kings of the world admire and respect her. I think Carlos is a good guy and he will be a good king. And Camilla will be a good consort. Despite everything that has happened, the English now esteem her and she has a behavior full of dignity, something that poor Diana, who was a poor devil, did not have.

-Speaking of queens, you say that Letizia was not the “right” one to be. She assures that if she had investigated it, there would have been no wedding.

And I’ll keep it until I die. She knows there would have been no wedding, and she knows that I know it. I have a four-story file, but I will never reveal anything that I shouldn’t reveal.

-After eight years, how do you see it today?

-She is believed to be a queen, and she is a consort. She has a lot of body worship, and she wants to show it off. And she is obsessed with dressing. When she goes somewhere the first thing she looks at is the press, to see how they react to her model. It is frivolous. That fuchsia dress that showed off her abs was inappropriate.

Are they still enemies?

-She was unfair to me in our first meeting. I did not know her, but at a reception that took place shortly before her wedding, on the occasion of the delivery of the Madrid gold medal to Felipe, the entire Government was there, all the balls and courtiers were there, and I too, as a journalist . She then she came towards me pointing her finger at me; and I told him: ‘Don’t point your finger at me.’ She started yelling at me. She thought that everything that was published in ‘El Mundo’ was written by me, and it wasn’t like that. It was very violent. She told me: ‘Before you write, you have to call Zarzuela’. As I saw that the situation was very violent, I told her: ‘Letizia, in short distances you win a lot’. And she liked that. 10 years passed until we met on the occasion of the anniversary of ‘El Mundo’. But we just said goodbye.

-Were you surprised by the photos of Urdangarín walking with a friend on the beach?

-In five years in prison many things happen in your way of thinking and wanting. And I don’t know if Cristina has behaved well, if she has visited him frequently.

-What do you think of the new batch of Bourbons?

-I had a lot of affection for Victoria Federica, but I think she’s making a fool of herself. She feels very pretty and likes fame.

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