My Kingdom for an Elephant!

The winds of change are blowing at Madrid's Plaza del Sol and its waving the old Republican flags, which had been kept in the closet for three quarters of a century, ever since generalísimo Franco won the Civil war.

Now the man Franco put in power after he stepped down, Don Juan Carlos de Borbón, is abdicating as king of Spain in favor of his son Felipe. For 40 years he reigned, and during most of that time he enjoyed the support of his people; but all that started to change in 2012... because of an elephant.

When the Spanish people, who were going through their worst economic crisis in modern history, looked at the pictures of their sovereign playing the role of big white hunter on a Safari trip paid with money from the public coffers, their love for Don Juan Carlos quickly started to evaporate.

Perhaps there's some weird connection between this historic event & George Orwell's famous short story 'Shooting an Elephant,' which tells the story of an anonymous police officer stationed in Burma, who is led by circumstances beyond his control to kill an unruly pachyderm at the pressing insistence of the angry natives.

To come all that way, rifle in hand, with two thousand people marching at my heels, and then to trail feebly away, having done nothing – no, that was impossible. The crowd would laugh at me. And my whole life, every white man's life in the East, was one long struggle not to be laughed at.

Well, Don Juan Carlos seems to have been pressed to abdicate by circumstances beyond his control, all right. And in doing so, perhaps he's fired the killing shot to the very concept of Monarchy itself in the XXIst century; ironic, considering how many pundits are right in pointing out that most parliamentary monarchies nowadays enjoy more democratic forms of government, than so-called 'democratic' nations —Russia, anyone?

But, just like that poor old elephant in Orwell's story endured in agony for a long time, I suppose Don Felipe might still have the chance to put on the silly crown & play the role of king for a few more years —something that will surely raise the hopes of a few poor fellows out there...