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Torcuato Fernández-Miranda

The Duke of Fernández-Miranda
Torcuato Fernández-Miranda in 1975
President of the Cortes Españolas
In office
6 December 1975 – 30 June 1977
Head of StateFrancisco Franco
Juan Carlos I
Preceded byAlejandro Rodríguez de Valcárcel
Succeeded byFernando Álvarez de Miranda
Acting Prime Minister of Spain
In office
20 December 1973 – 31 December 1973
Head of StateFrancisco Franco
Preceded byLuis Carrero Blanco
Succeeded byCarlos Arias Navarro
First Deputy Prime Minister of Spain
In office
9 June 1973 – 31 December 1973
Prime MinisterLuis Carrero Blanco
Preceded byLuis Carrero Blanco
Succeeded byJosé García Hernández
Minister-Secretary General of the Movimiento Nacional
In office
29 October 1969 – 3 January 1974
Prime MinisterFrancisco Franco
Luis Carrero Blanco
Carlos Arias Navarro
Preceded byJosé Solís Ruiz
Succeeded byJosé Utrera Molina
Member of the Senate
In office
13 July 1977 – 2 January 1979
Appointed byJuan Carlos I
Personal details
Born
Torcuato Fernández-Miranda y Hevia

(1915-11-10)10 November 1915
Gijón, Asturias, Spain
Died19 June 1980(1980-06-19) (aged 64)
St Mary's Hospital, London, UK
Political partyFET y de las JONS (1939–1977)
Union of the Democratic Centre (1977–1978)
Spouse
María del Carmen Lozana Abeo
(m. 1946)
Children2
EducationColegio de la Inmaculada
Alma materUniversity of Oviedo

Torcuato Fernández-Miranda y Hevia, 1st Duke of Fernández-Miranda (10 November 1915 – 19 June 1980) was a Spanish lawyer and politician who played important roles in both the Spanish State of Francisco Franco and in the Spanish transition to democracy.

Fernández Miranda was born in Gijón, Asturias, on Spain's north coast, in 1915. He died of a heart attack in 1980 while traveling to London.

Francoist State

By the age of 30, Fernández Miranda had already served as a lieutenant for the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War and begun a promising career as a law professor; that year, he earned a chair at the University of Oviedo, of which he would later serve as rector, 1951 to 1953.[1] He was destined to make his biggest impact in public service, however.

Franco chose him to serve as the government's Director-General of University Education in the mid-1950s, and gave him an even weightier assignment in 1960: Fernández Miranda was entrusted with the political education of Prince Juan Carlos, whom Franco had tapped to carry on as his successor as the King of Spain, after the death of the caudillo. After having endured years of military training, Juan Carlos credited Fernández Miranda with being the first of his tutors to teach him to rely on independent thinking.[1]

In the final years of the Francoist State – Franco would die 20 November 1975 – Fernández Miranda also played an important political role as a high-ranking member of the Movimiento Nacional (National Movement), the Francoist State's only legal political party. He served as interim Presidente del Gobierno (prime minister) for a few weeks in December 1973, after the assassination of Luis Carrero Blanco. He had been Carrero Blanco's principal deputy prime minister. Although Fernández Miranda was one of the top candidates to succeed Carrero Blanco, the job of prime minister—Franco's last, as it would turn out—went to Carlos Arias Navarro.

Leader in transition

Shortly after Franco's death, Juan Carlos became king. He retained Arias Navarro as prime minister but, in a nod to his political mentor, named Fernández Miranda speaker of the Cortes (the legislature) and president of the Consejo del Reino (Council of the Kingdom) in the transition government. In these roles, Fernández Miranda was able to push a willing king toward the development of a democracy.

Fernández Miranda sought to establish a two-party system, with one conservative party and one liberal party. He suggested legitimizing the suppressed PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers' Party), which was leftist but anti-communist, for the liberal role.

Upon Arias Navarro's resignation in 1976, Spain was still operating under Francoist law; it was Fernández Miranda's job, as head of the Council of the Kingdom, to suggest three names to the king for a new political leader. He placed the reformist Adolfo Suárez on his list, despite Suárez' relative inexperience. Suárez was duly selected, and soon called for a political reform law, to be followed by democratic elections, Spain's first in 40 years.

The law professor Fernández Miranda, still serving as speaker of the Cortes, was the principal author of Suárez' Ley para la Reforma Política (Political Reform Act), approved by the Government in September 1976, by the Cortes in November 1976, and by a popular referendum 15 December 1976.

Democratic Spain

Although he played a large role in the transition to democracy, Fernández Miranda remained a political conservative. Following Suárez reforms with which he disagreed—such as the legalization of the Communist Party of Spain and increasing tolerance of decentralization – the speaker resigned from the Cortes prior to the first election, 15 June 1977.

After the election, he was named by the king to the Spanish Senate, which now became the upper house of a bicameral Cortes. He served there for one term, representing the UCD, until 2 January 1979.[2] He was later created 1st Duke of Fernández-Miranda and Grandee of Spain on 31 May 1977. In 1977 or 1981[3] he also became 1,181st Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

Family

He married in Gijón on 24 April 1946 María del Carmen Lozana Abeo and had children:[4]

  • Enrique Fernández-Miranda y Lozana (b. Gijón, 12 September 1949), 2nd Duke of Fernández-Miranda and Grandee of Spain on 3 November 1982, married on 12 May 1975 to María de los Reyes de Marcos y Sánchez (b. Madrid, 6 January 1955), and had issue:
    • Torcuato Enrique Fernández-Miranda y de Marcos (b. 26 February 1983)
    • Alvaro Manuel Fernández-Miranda y de Marcos (b. 23 August 1985)
  • Fernando Fernández-Miranda y Lozana (b. Gijón, 20 January 1953), married to Ana Allendesalazar y Ruíz de Arana (b. Madrid, 27 July 1962), daughter of Carlos Allendesalazar y Travesedo (Madrid, 30 June 1923 – 24 March 1994), ?th Viscount of Tapia and a descendant of Maria Cristina of the Two Sicilies, and wife Ignacia Ruíz de Arana y Montalvo (Deusto, 11 August 1930 -), 14th Marchioness of Velada, and had issue:
    • Javier Fernández-Miranda y Allendesalazar
    • Clara Fernández-Miranda y Allendesalazar

References

  1. ^ a b Preston, Paul. "Juan Carlos: Steering Spain from Dictatorship to Democracy." New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2004. ISBN 0-393-05804-2.
  2. ^ Spanish: Senado.es: Torcuato Fernández Miranda y Hevia[permanent dead link]. Retrieved 28 April 2007.
  3. ^ Spanish: "El Toisón de Oro en el siglo XXI, page 15" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 May 2005. Retrieved 16 May 2005.. Retrieved 17 November 2006.
  4. ^ "Torcuato Fernández-Miranda, 1. Duque de Fernandez-Miranda, * 1915 | Geneall.net".
Political offices Preceded byLuis Carrero Blanco Interim Prime Minister of Spain 1973 Succeeded byCarlos Arias Navarro Spanish nobility New title Duke of Fernández-Miranda 31 May 1977 – 19 June 1980 Succeeded byEnrique Fernández-Miranda
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Torcuato Fernández-Miranda
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