According to the forecasts, this Sunday, a hurricane-strength wind was expected to batter most parts of Catalonia. It is not, however, the only tempest likely to arrive if we leave meteorology to one side and instead monitor the reports of political incidents, which according to official sources have even provoked substantial alterations in the programme of Spain's king Felipe VI for his visit to Barcelona over the next two days, centred on the Fundació Princesa de Girona awards ceremony on Monday at 6pm. The aim of the changes is to avoid the different actions of rejection of the monarchy which are being called on Monday in the Catalan capital.
Thus, the royal family is bringing forward its journey to Barcelona by 24 hours and, instead of staying at the Albeniz Palace, on Montjuïc mountain, it has been announced officially that the royal residence will be at the Hotel Juan Carlos I, just a few metres from the Palau de Congressos where Monday's ceremony is to be held. The objective is none other than ensuring that the event goes ahead and that any attempted disruption ends in failure. The nervousness about the awards presentation being suspended was visible on Saturday in the account of official royal chronicler José Antonio Zarzalejos. The former editor of the ABC newspaper made a call to guarantee the holding of the event "at all costs", since the scenario of cancelling the visit and the prizegiving "would be a catastrophic failure of the state, which would then be in free fall". And he quotes the Romantic-era English poet Lord Byron: "A thousand years may scare form a state. An hour may lay it in ruins."
In any case, whether the transfer to Barcelona takes place on Sunday, as has been announced, or there is a return to the initial programme, it is obvious that the visit is immersed in special circumstances. It will be very difficult to explain the first hypothesis, since it conveys a situation of exception and hostility to the head of the state, but also one of alarm on the part of the royal house. The different protests called to show rejection of the visit, starting with a pots-and-pans banging session called by CDR groups at 8.30pm outside the hotel, will underline a situation of dissension with a significant part of Catalan society. It is not just the independence movement - whose institutional representatives will be absent from the event - which today is rejecting the monarchy's attitude to the Catalan issue. The social dimension of the rejection is the principal achilles heel of a king who, wanting to win easy applause in Spain, has lost Catalonia, perhaps irredeemably.