He was not invited to the event, but Felipe VI and the president of Congress, Meritxell Batet, vindicated his figure. Before the gaze of Pedro Sánchez, Pablo Iglesias and the highest authorities of the State, both praised the performance of Juan Carlos I during the night of February 23, 1981. The televised message of the then King was framed, in the public debate, as the end of the coup.
Felipe VI did not mention his father since he left Spain after learning about the investigations opened by the Justice. These have been his words in the Hall of Lost Steps of the Carrera de San Jerónimo:
“And in the face of that unacceptable fracture of the legitimate and legal democratic order, King Juan Carlos I assumed as Head of State his responsibility and his commitment to the Constitution so that – and I quote – all the necessary measures to maintain the constitutional order within of the current legislation. He communicated this to all Spaniards in a televised message that is now part of our collective memory. His firmness and authority were decisive for the defense and triumph of democracy. “
Meritxell Batet, for his part, has lauded the “determined reaction of our public institutions headed by King Juan Carlos”, to whom he has attributed having “effectively used his constitutional capacities to defeat the coup plotters.”
Due to the pandemic, the event has been characterized – as it has been happening since March of last year – by its brevity and a restricted capacity. Seated with ostensible separation, was the leader of the opposition, Pablo Casado, the four vice presidents of the Government and the highest officials of the Constitutional Court or the CGPJ.