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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, with the annual message of the president transmitted to Congress December 2, 1902

Spain,   pp. 949-966 PDF (1.4 MB)

Page 957

 SPAIN. 957 
and royal party proceeded to time San Francisco Cathedral, where a solemn
Te Deum was celebrated. On his return to the palace the King issued his first
proclamation to the people, expressing the hope that he would receive from
them the inspiration which time has not yet taught and that they will continue
to him the support they had accorded to his august mother. The Queen, in
a noble, pathetic letter to the Spanish people, expressed her unchangeable
gratitude for the proofs of affection she had received, and stated that the
most complete recompense for a mother for a life devoted to the fulfillment
of her duties during a long regency and time bitter trials to which Providence
had subjected her would be that her son might be preserved to emulate the
glories of his predecessors and to procure peace and prosperity for the noble
people he was called to govern. 
 Among the most significant and warmly approved early actions of the new
King was the royal decree giving to the Queen Mother the rank, honors, and
preeminence of a reigning consort queen. Her fidelity to her son and ability
as a ruler merited this act of filial regard and sound policy. A translation
of this paper may well be preserved. 
 Wishing to give to my august mother a testimony of the great affection and,
at the same time, of the love and gratitude with which the noble nation directed
by her (luring sixteen years will keep memory of her great services, and
especially the fidelity with which she followed the traditions of my unfortunate
father, King Alfonso XII, in the noble task of maintaining closely united
the desires of the people with the ideals of the throne, I hereby order that
during all her life she shall preserve the rank, honors, and preeminence
as reigning consort queen, occupying, therefore, at official acts and ceremonies,
the same place as before, or the immediate one to my wife, in case I should
contract marriage. 
 Although the official functions, those essential to the installation of
the King and the traimsference of executive power, were closed, yet for several
days and nights a series of banquets, receptions, illuminations, including
a military review of different branches of service by the King, laying of
the corner stone of the monument to his father, opening of an academy of
arts, a battle of flowers, etc., was kept up with great interest. At all
these festivities the royal family was present, and most convenient arrangements
were made for the foreign representatives and the general public. Everything
was prearranged with taste and art and skill, so that no hitch nor accident
nor postponemnent occurred, and the displays and performances were singularly
impressive. Such official and popular fates, such brilliant ceremonies, the
capital had never seen, for they surpassed in eclat and splendor all that
had preceded. The artificial exhibitions illustrated the hearty enthusiasm
and contentedness of the people. The provinces swelled by 100,000 the usual
population of the city, and the thronging crowds of both sexes and all ages,
in mimost picturesque costumes, without disorder or drunkenness, were patient,
cheerful, good-humored, an~ loyal. 
 The prompt and cheerful response of so many Governments in the inauguration
of His Majesty was regarded as a new era—a hopeful sign of Spanish
resumption of an honorable position among the nations. Not only all Spain
but all the world contributed to give joyous acclaim to the young prince.
It was an impressive and a significant fact that eleven foreign princes of
royal blood, with numerous suites, and twenty~ four extraordinary representatives
from Europe and the New World, and imposing deputations from China, Japan,
Siam, and Morocco, should, formally and with appropriate expressions of interest,

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