Torcuato Fernández-Miranda

Last updated

The Duke of Fernández-Miranda
Torcuato Fernandez-Miranda in 1975.jpg
Torcuato Fernández-Miranda in 1975
President of the Cortes Españolas
In office
6 February 1975 15 June 1977
Head of State Francisco Franco
Juan Carlos I
Preceded by Alejandro Rodríguez de Valcárcel
Succeeded by Fernando Álvarez de Miranda
Interim Prime Minister of Spain
In office
20 December 1973 31 December 1973
Head of State Francisco Franco
Preceded by Luis Carrero Blanco
Succeeded by Carlos Arias Navarro
First Vice President of the Government
In office
9 June 1973 31 December 1973
President Luis Carrero Blanco
Preceded by Luis Carrero Blanco
Succeeded by José García Hernández
Minister-Secretary General of the Movimiento Nacional
In office
29 October 1969 3 January 1974
Prime Minister Francisco Franco
Luis Carrero Blanco
Carlos Arias Navarro
Preceded by José Solís Ruiz
Succeeded by José Utrera Molina
Member of the Senate
In office
13 July 1977 2 January 1979
Appointed by Juan Carlos I
Personal details
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
Nationality Spanish
Political party FET y de las JONS (1939–1977)
Union of the Democratic Centre (1977–1978)
María del Carmen Lozana Abeo
(m. 1946)

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 Law), 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.

Marriage and Children

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

Related Research Articles

Manuel Fraga

Manuel Fraga Iribarne was a Spanish professor and politician in Francoist Spain, who was also the founder of the People's Party. Fraga was Minister of Information and Tourism between 1962 and 1969, Ambassador to the United Kingdom between 1973 and 1975, Minister of the Interior in 1975, Second Deputy Prime Minister between 1975 and 1976, President of the People's Alliance/People's Party between 1979 and 1990 and President of the Regional Government of Galicia between 1990 and 2005. He was also a Member of the Congress of Deputies and a Senator.

Luis Carrero Blanco

Luis Carrero Blanco was a Spanish Navy officer and politician, who served as Prime Minister from June 1973 until his assassination in December of that year. He participated in the Rif War, and later the Spanish Civil War, in which he supported the Nationalist faction.

Adolfo Suárez Prime Minister of Spain (1976–1981)

Adolfo Suárez González, 1st Duke of Suárez was a Spanish lawyer and politician. Suárez was Spain's first democratically elected Prime Minister since the Second Spanish Republic and a key figure in the country's transition to democracy after the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.

Spanish nobility

Spanish nobles are persons who possess the legal status of hereditary nobility according to the laws and traditions of the Spanish monarchy and those who hold personal nobility as bestowed by one of the three highest orders of knighthood of the Kingdom, namely the Order of the Golden Fleece, the Order of Charles III and the Order of Isabella the Catholic. A system of titles and honours of Spain and of the former kingdoms that constitute it make up the Spanish nobility. Some nobles possess various titles that may be inherited, but the creation and recognition of titles is legally a prerogative of the King of Spain.

Assassination of Luis Carrero Blanco

The assassination of Prime Minister Luis Carrero Blanco, also known by its code name Operación Ogro, had far-reaching consequences within the politics of Spain. Admiral Carrero Blanco was killed in Madrid by the Basque separatist group ETA on 20 December 1973. The assassination is considered to have been the biggest attack against the Francoist State since the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939.

Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo

Leopoldo Ramón Pedro Calvo-Sotelo y Bustelo, 1st Marquess of Ría de Ribadeo, usually known as Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo, was Prime Minister of Spain between 1981 and 1982.

Carlos Arias Navarro

Carlos Arias Navarro, 1st Marquis of Arias-Navarro was one of the best known Spanish politicians during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.

Spanish transition to democracy

The Spanish transition to democracy, known in Spain as la Transición or la Transición española, is a period of modern Spanish history encompassing the regime change that moved from the Francoist dictatorship to the consolidation of a parliamentary system in the form of monarchy under Juan Carlos I.

History of Spain (1975–present) Spain after Francos death

For all intents and purposes, the history of contemporary Spain began with the death of caudillo Francisco Franco on 20 November 1975, the accession of King Juan Carlos I to the throne and the establishment of the parliamentary monarchy. In 1978, the current Spanish Constitution of 1978 was signed and the status of Spain's autonomous entities (autonomías) was defined.

1977 Spanish general election Election for the 1977 Spanish Parliament; first free election since 1936

The 1977 Spanish general election was held on Wednesday, 15 June 1977, to elect the Spanish Cortes of the Kingdom of Spain. All 350 seats in the Congress of Deputies were up for election, as well as all 207 seats in the Senate.

Council of the Realm

The Council of the Realm was a corporate organ of Francoist Spain, created by the Law of Succession to the Headship of the State of 1947. Within the institutional complex created to jezequize the regime of Francisco Franco, was the high council that advised the Head of State in the decision making of its exclusive competence. An antecedent of the Council of the Realm is the institution of the same name that appears in the Draft Constitution of 1929 of the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera.

Duke of Fernández-Miranda

Duke of Fernández-Miranda, is a title of Spanish nobility that is accompanied by the additional honorific dignity of Grandee of Spain. It was granted to Torcuato Fernández-Miranda y Hevia on 31 May 1977 by Juan Carlos I. The tile was granted in honor of the first duke, who played an important role in the Spanish transition to democracy. His political education of then Prince Juan Carlos during the dictatorship of Francoist Spain, and his statesmanship creating transitional laws and a constitution, and in facilitating the referendum and democratic elections after the death of Francisco Franco in 1975, were instrumental in Spain returning to democracy.

Fernando de Santiago y Díaz de Mendívil was a conservative deputy and interim prime minister of Spain during the Spanish transition to democracy in the late 1970s. He had earlier been a general in the Spanish Civil War and under the Spanish State of Caudillo Francisco Franco.

A constitutional referendum was held in Spain on Wednesday, 6 December 1978, to gauge support for either the ratification or repealing of the Spanish Constitution which had been approved by the Cortes Generales on 31 October 1978. The question asked was "Do you approve of the Constitution Bill?". The referendum resulted in 91.8% of valid votes in support of the bill on a turnout of 67.1%.

A referendum on political reform was held in Spain on Wednesday, 15 December 1976, to gauge support for either the ratification or repealing of the Political Reform Act which had been approved by the Spanish Cortes on 18 November 1976. The question asked was "Do you approve of the Political Reform Bill?". The referendum resulted in 97.4% of valid votes in support of the bill on a turnout of 77.7%.

Puedo prometer y prometo

Puedo prometer y prometo is a classic catchphrase said by Spanish politician Adolfo Suárez, first said in the first post-Franco general elections in Spain in 1977.

Political Reform Act

The Political Reform Act was adopted on November 18, 1976 by the Spanish Parliament with the support of 435 out of 531 members that formed the legislature, and submitted to a referendum with a participation of the 77,8% of the census and with 94,17% of the votes in favor. It had the status of Fundamental Law, being the last one of the Fundamental Laws of the Francoist State. The Act was repealed by the Spanish Constitution in 29 December 1978.

Second government of Carlos Arias Navarro

The second government of Carlos Arias Navarro was formed on 12 December 1975 following the latter's confirmation as Prime Minister of Spain by King Juan Carlos I on 5 December, as a result of his enthronement as new head of state of Spain following dictator Francisco Franco's death on 20 November 1975. It succeeded the first Arias Navarro government and was the Government of Spain from 12 December 1975 to 5 July 1976, a total of 206 days, or 6 months and 23 days.

Mingorrubio Cemetery

The Mingorrubio Cemetery, also called the Cemetery of El Pardo, is a municipal cemetery in Madrid, Spain, located in the Mingorrubio neighborhood in the northern district of Fuencarral-El Pardo.

Government of Luis Carrero Blanco

The government of Luis Carrero Blanco was formed on 12 June 1973 following his appointment and swearing-in as Prime Minister of Spain on 9 June by Head of State Francisco Franco, who for the first time since 1938 had chosen to detach the figure of the head of government from that he held of head of state. It succeeded the eighth Franco government and was the Government of Spain from 12 June to 31 December 1973, a total of 202 days, or 6 months and 19 days.


  1. 1 2 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: 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.
Political offices
Preceded by
Luis Carrero Blanco
Interim Prime Minister of Spain
Succeeded by
Carlos Arias Navarro
Spanish nobility
New title Duke of Fernández-Miranda
31 May 1977 – 19 June 1980
Succeeded by
Enrique Fernández-Miranda