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Memoria e Ricerca

Performing Monarchy and Nationalist Discourses in the Spain of “Regenerationism” (1902-1913)

di Javier Moreno Luzón
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 42 (2013), p. 87

This article studies the links between monarchy and Spanish nationalism in the first decade of Alfonso XIII’s reign (1902-1913). It focuses on three different aspects: the great monarchical ceremonies, specially the royal oath to the Constitution –or coronation—; the royal trips, extraordinarily developed; and the military ceremonies containing a strong nationalist meaning as the annual swearing of loyalty to the national flag by new soldiers. Through those performances, the crown was integrated in a national imaginary dominated by discourses and practices of regeneration of the fatherland in the aftermath of the colonial disaster of 1898: in such a regeneration, the king was thought as a necessary force. At a lower level of pomp and splendor than other european monarchies, the Spanish king was perceived as a national symbol by different groups. Among them, local élites, various associations and the heterogeneus public of the royal spectacles, shown by the mass media. Those performances reinforced the political role of a king that enjoyed constitutional executive powers. Key words: Spain, monarchy, nationalism, dynastic ceremonies, royal tours, army