Don Juan Carlos could not help but be moved by the warm welcome he received yesterday at the Real Club Náutico de Sangenjo but, even so, he did not deviate from the initial planned plan. The one who has been meditating for the last 21 months and who transmitted to his son at the beginning of last March: that his purpose is to organize his personal life in the most private way possible during his visits to Spain. Of course, this Friday, the media and citizen uproar was inevitable for his return.

The father of Felipe VI was aware that his return to Spain would raise expectations and, although from his environment they slipped ABC yesterday that the reception was not expected to be so moving, the truth is that Don Juan Carlos tried to go unnoticed.

There were four moments in which he was close to the almost 200 accredited journalists, with their respective recorders, microphones and cameras. The first time, upon his arrival at the yacht club. During his welcome, with a ‘photocall’ included, the journalists asked him how he was, what he felt and if he was happy to return to Spain. And Don Juan Carlos, in his eagerness to maintain that discreet and private profile, preferred to remain silent. Although his satisfaction was evident.

It was only at the end of the day, after following from the sea, in a motorboat, the two InterRías regattas that the Bribón500 contested –his boat, which won both competitions–, when beyond smiling, now he let out a phrase when asked by the press: “I am very happy”. Before boarding, he celebrated the good day with a “it’s not raining today.”

It was the only thing he was heard to say in public on a day in which, without a doubt, he felt very loved. Because what he breathed yesterday at the Real Club Náutico was affection, a lot of affection. The excitement of those gathered to see the King’s father was palpable. His faces and proclamations, when they saw his car appear, distilled something more than the desire for Don Juan Carlos to visit the town: the satisfaction at seeing him again in Spain, albeit provisionally, after so much time, was evident. weather.

A neighbor of the Galician town synthesized it in a sentence in a small talk with ABC after his arrival at the marina: «I come to pay him a tribute, Don Juan Carlos deserves this and much more. Spain is the site of him ».

Supporters, long live the king, cheers and applause. But also media coverage such as has not been seen for a long time: more than a hundred media outlets, national, regional, local and also international. The best X-ray of the situation was made by the Infanta Elena herself, who yesterday accompanied her father on her stay in the Galician town: “Not even at my wedding were there so many television cameras.”

Among those gathered before the Real Club Náutico de Sangenjo was Mercedes, a vacationer in the tourism capital of the Rías Bajas, who, after going to the beach, went to the Pontevedra marina – which bears the name of Juan Carlos I – to applaud him. She also managed to shake hands with Don Juan Carlos upon his arrival: “I found him very happy and very close,” the woman explained to the media.

Don Juan Carlos arrived in the car of his close friend and his usual host in Sanxenxo, Pedro Campos, who also chairs the yacht club that organizes the regattas that the King’s father will follow closely this weekend. In the same vehicle, in the back seats, the Infanta Elena, who accompanied her father in these first two days in Sanxenxo. She was less restrained than her father in expressing her satisfaction at her father’s reception, and she made no secret that she was “very pleased” about it.

Wearing red pants, a white vest and a red cap, the King’s father got out of the car, and given his limitations to walk normally, he had the help of a cane and also a camera assistant, always attentive to Don Juan’s movements. Carlos.

A proud mayor of Sangejo, Telmo Martín, and the members of the board of directors of the Real Club Náutico were waiting for him at the door of the club. There they were, with Pedro Campos at the head, the crew of the Rogue 500, made up of Jane Abascal, Roi Alvarez, Alberto Viejo, Eduardo Marin and Roc McDonald. Don Juan Carlos warmly embraced, one by one, with all of them.

The entourage then entered the club building, from where a large Spanish flag hung. And there, already out of the inevitable spotlights and away from the microphones, Don Juan Carlos resumed the essence of what he tries to make this return to Sanxenxo after so long: a private trip to meet up with his old friends.

The return of Don Juan Carlos to Spain was circumscribed to the “absolutely personal sphere” by the Government spokesperson, Minister Isabel Rodríguez, who stressed that the only “relationship” that the Executive maintains is with Felipe VI. Vice President Yolanda Díaz said that this visit is a “mistake” and “damages” the Monarchy, thus opening a new division within the coalition.

For his part, the president of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, defended that supporter Don Juan Carlos “can return to his country” and stressed that he has “no pending cases”, so he has “every right to visit Spain”.