Members of the Spanish Royal Family broke with tradition this week by keeping a low profile during their Easter break, including not attending mass at the Palma Cathedral in the island of Mallorca.
Observers at least expected Queen Sofia, King Felipe’s mother, to attend services. But even though she was staying at Marivent Palace in Mallorca and attended a Good Friday procession, she was not at the cathedral Sunday.
King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia instead visited a center for Ukranian refugees in Madrid during Easter weekend.
The visit to the Ukranian refugee center coincided with Princess Leonor’s return to Spain for vacation from her studies in Wales.
A British court is moving forward with harassment claims against Spain’s King Juan Carlos, King Felipe’s father.
Don Juan Carlos’ former lover, Corinna Larsen, is accusing the former Spanish head of state, who abdicated in 2014, of trying to intimidate her.
Larsen, a businesswoman who was once married to a German prince, was with King Juan Carlos during an elephant hunting trip in 2012, in which the monarch fell and had to be flown back to Spain.
The incident, which happened during Spain’s economic troubles, prompted scrutiny of Don Juan Carlos’ finances and relationships.
The monarch’s relationship with Larsen, always seen as dangerous by the Spanish government, eventually soured, and she claims intelligence agents kept her under surveillance and did things like shooting at her security cameras.
King Juan Carlos has been living in exile in the United Arab Emirates while under investigation for financial crimes. King Felipe has declined any inheritance form his father.
Many of those probes, however, have been shelved and Don Juan Carlos has worked to make good with Spanish tax authorities. He had immunity during his time as reigning monarch.
Even though he may never return to live in Spain full time, King Juan Carlos says he will soon visit the country to meet with friends and family.
Larsen is said to have ended up with tens of millions of dollars that belonged to Don Juan Carlos and gifted by Saudi royals, according to media reports.
Officials have been unable to prove the money was an illegal commission for King Juan Carlos’ role in securing a deal for Spanish firms to build high speed train service to Mecca.
As a result of all the scandals, King Juan Carlos is the least popular member of the Spanish Royal Family, but many people respect his efforts to secure Spanish Democracy.
His wife, Queen Sofia, remains among the most popular royals and an active participant in the royal agenda.