Spain: Juan Carlos to the Fore

Since Spain's constitution pledges an eventual restoration of the monarchy, Spaniards have long scanned the official press for clues as to which of the Borbóns Generalissimo Francisco Franco, 75, might pick to fill the long-vacant throne. Monarchist activists pin their hopes on exiled Pretender Don Juan, 55, a moderate who favors evolution toward parliamentary democracy. Many Falangist regulars lean toward his son, Juan Carlos, 30, in the belief that the carefully schooled younger man would prove willing to stick with the regime's less flexible principles.

Franco's personal sympathies have been clear for some time. Distrustful of Don Juan, he played...