From historic prince to outcast king
He was its first prince for over a quarter of a millennium but his actions as a king have led to a place called Girona in Catalonia rejecting Felipe VI. The King of Spain has been declared a persona non grata by Girona City Council following his interventions in the disputed Catalan independence referendum. The beloved prince is become an outcast king.
Girona declara 'persona non grata' al rey Felipe con la abstención del PSC https://t.co/kI751F0ogh pic.twitter.com/JNJRCNdsTK— 20minutos.es (@20m) October 25, 2017
The city council, headed by Marta Madrenas of the Catalan European Democratic Party, took the decision to make Felipe a persona non grata at a meeting earlier this week. The motion also saw Enric Milla, the Spanish government's representative in Catalona, declared persona non grata as well as the rejection of article 155 of the Spanish constitution which allows Madrid to impose direct rule on autonomous regions. The government of Mariano Rajoy has already said that the article will be triggered following the referendum on October 1st which saw almost 900 people injured when Spanish police moved in to stop voting.
Girona has been linked to heirs to the throne since the 14th century. In 1351, King Peter IV of Aragon named his heir Duke of Girona while his grandson, Ferdinand I, decided things would be much better all round if the area became a principality. It fell out of use following the unification of Castile and Aragon. At the restoration of the Spanish Monarchy, following the accession of King Juan Carlos on the death of the dictator Francisco Franco, it became one of the titles of the new heir to the throne, Felipe, who formally adopted it in 1977. For over three decades he was Prince of Girona. Now he is no longer welcome there.
The current holder is Felipe's daughter, Leonor, who as heir to the Spanish throne is known as Princess of Asturias, Princess of Girona and Princess of Viana. The Princess of Girona Foundation gives out annual awards and in June this year, Felipe and Letizia, were in the area to oversee the 2017 prizes. What happens in summer 2018 now remains a mystery as the historic prince becomes an outcast king.