La Marcha Real (The Royal March) is the national anthem of Spain. It is one of the oldest national anthems in the world (though its specific origins are unclear) and one of the very few that have no lyrics. Since its adoption in 1770, during the reign of King Charles III of Spain, it has only ceased to be official during three short periods: the Liberal Triennium (1820-1823), the First (1873-1874) and the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1939). The Royal March was also adopted by the Nationalist side during the Spanish Civil War in 1937, though an attempt to give it lyrics did not have success.

The Royal March in The War That Came Early[]

While preparing to fly from his exile in Lisbon in 1936, General José Sanjurjo boasted that he would be ready to die when he heard Spain's Royal March playing again. The comment provided Major Juan Antonio Ansaldo with the opening he needed to talk Sanjurjo into leaving the heavy trunks containing his uniforms behind, thus saving the general's life.[1]


  1. Hitler's War, pg. 4