Spanish King Felipe VI today attended an event marking the 40th anniversary of February 23rd, 1981’s Parliament Act. Felipe was joined by the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and the ministers of the Government.
Visiting the Congress House, King Felipe said, “today, as King, symbol of the unity and permanence of the State, my commitment to the Constitution is stronger and more firm than never. As is also unequivocal will of the Crown to be an Institution that includes, integrates and unites all Spaniards.”
The 1981 Spanish coup d’état attempt, known in Spain by the numeronym 23-F and also known as the Tejerazo, was an attempted coup d’état in Spain on 23 February 1981. Lieutenant-Colonel Antonio Tejero led 200 armed Civil Guard officers into the Congress of Deputies during the vote to elect a President of the Government. The officers held the parliamentarians and ministers hostage for 18 hours, during which time King Juan Carlos I denounced the coup in a televised address, calling for rule of law and the democratic government to continue.
Felipe’s Father, King Juan Carlos ordered the armed forces to take all necessary measures to crush a revolt by 200 paramilitary civil guards. Though shots were fired, the hostage-takers surrendered the next morning without killing anyone. Speaking to the public that King Juan said, “The Crown cannot tolerate in any form any act which tries to interfere with the constitution which has been approved by the Spanish people”.
The day was one of the key factors establishing the popularity of the now self-exiled King of Spain Juan Carlos I.