WHEN you are invited onto one of Spain’s biggest live morning news programs, it’s probably not the best idea to correct the presenter before the show has even got going. But that’s exactly what Olive Press journalist Simon Hunter managed to do this week on Antena 3’s Espejo Publico.
When Queen Elizabeth II died, Simon was in demand from nearly all of the channels – and a number of radio stations too – to explain to Spanish audiences how people in the UK were feeling in the wake of the monarch’s death, how the funeral would unfold, and where the monarchy was headed next.
While there was less interest in the Spanish media for the coronation of King Charles III than there was about the queen’s death, the Olive Press reporter was still called up to appear on Espejo Publico, as well as Mas Vale Tarde and La Roca – both on Antena 3’s sister channel La Sexta.
When the Monday morning episode of Espejo Publico began, presenter Susanna Griso’s first words on the autocue were in English: ‘God save the king’. But in a verbal slip that no doubt so many of us have made in the last eight months, she actually said ‘God save the queen’.
With the introduction over, the veteran journalist sat down and introduced her panel, which included Simon.
Unfortunately though, she immediately made another slip up and praised tennis player Rafa Nadal instead of the Madrid Masters winner she meant to say, Carlos Alcaraz.
“I immediately thought, ‘Shall I chime in with the queen thing or would that be rude?!’,” Simon explains.
Being the cheeky Essex chap he is, he couldn’t resist it and interjected.
“Forgive me for saying this Susanna, but at the beginning of the program you also said, ‘God save the queen, when of course we now have a king! It’s a mistake we’re all still making…”
Fortunately Susanna saw the funny side, and laughed off the faux pas.
What was perhaps more surprising is that the anecdote made the pages of Spanish conservative daily ABC, which dedicated a whole online article to what was nothing more than a storm in a Monday morning teacup.
Pomp and ceremony
So what has been the mood in Spanish media in the wake of the coronation?
“A lot of the presenters and pundits that I spoke to reflected on the ceremony as many Brits have done: that it was an amazing display of pomp and ceremony, of the kind that only we still do, but that it came at a bad time for a country that is suffering strikes, high inflation and a cost-of-living crisis,” Simon explains.
“And I think that a lot of Spaniards are much more interested in Prince William and Kate than they are in Charles and Camilla,” he adds.
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